Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Botswana

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AVANI Gaborone Hotel & Casino, Botswana

AVANI Gaborone Hotel & Casino, Botswana

 

Gambling is generally legal, and well-regulated in Botswana (except online gambling), a land-locked country situated in Southern Africa. Before 2012 two laws regulated gambling in the country: the Lotteries and Betting Act and the Casino Act. In accordance with the laws, gambling establishments in Botswana require a license to operate.

In 2011 the Ministry of Industry and Finance issued a statement saying that the existing gambling laws (written in the 70s) are outdated and inadequate. A new, comprehensive gambling law was deemed necessary in place of the acts regulating only certain aspects of the gambling sector.

Debates have been held, with most members of the parliament advocating stricter regulations, and in 2012 a new gambling law was created, encompassing all forms of gambling. According to the new regulation, a new Gambling Authority was established, which is now the legal body responsible for supervising gambling activity as well as issuing licenses.*

The new, 2012 regulation of gambling still does not mention online gambling anywhere. If the Botswanan government seeks to create up-to-date gambling legislation, they would do well to include online gambling in any future gambling laws.

Online gambling is currently completely unregulated in the country, with no mentions of it in any laws. At the moment, internet penetration rate in Botswana is only 25%, but has been steadily increasing in the past years. With stricter land-based gambling regulation, more and more Botswana players might turn to online gambling instead in the future.

 

*Source: Gambling Act, 2012 (Botswana Government Gazette)

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

Casino gambling in Botswana

 

Online casino gambling in Botswana: unregulated

 

Casino gambling is legal in Botswana, and was regulated until 2012 by the Casino Act that had been in effect since 1971. Casino gambling and casino licenses are currently under the jurisdiction of the Gambling Authority established by the 2012 Gambling Act.  According to this law, all gambling establishments require a licence to operate.

Licensed casinos may “organize the playing of games with cards, dice or mechanical contrivances or devices (including roulette) for money or money’s worth”*. Currently there are 11 brick and mortar casinos in Botswana, offering various games including blackjack, roulette, poker and slot machines. Casino gambling and casino licenses are under the jurisdiction of the Gambling Authority established in 2012.

At the moment none of the licensed Botswanan casinos offer any online casino games. Online casino gambling is completely unregulated, which means people are free to play casino games on international sites. While most of these are available for players from Botswana, rather few accept the Botswanan Pula as a form of payment.

 

 

Bingo in Botswana

 

Online Bingo in Botswana: unregulated 

 

Land-based Bingo is legal in Botswana, and is regulated by the 2012 Gambling Act. Companies or natural persons who wish to operate Bingo halls or any other establishment offering Bingo games must apply for a Bingo licence which can be issued by the Gambling Authority. There are some Bingo halls in Botswana, but the exact number of such locations is unknown.

Currently there are no Botswana-based online Bingo sites. Botswana does not regulate online gambling of any form, including online Bingo. As a result, Batswana are free to play on any international Bingo sites.

 

 

Poker in Botswana

 

Online Poker in Botswana: unregulated

 

Poker is not specifically regulated in Botswana, as it is not mentioned in the 2012 Gambling Act. It is likely seen as casino gambling (not separately regulated), as the gambling establishments offering legal, live Poker games in Botswana are the licensed casinos. Most of the live Poker action can be found in the capital of Botswana, Gaborone, where 3 of the country’s 11 casinos are located.

Online Poker is not regulated in Botswana whatsoever. As none of the casinos licensed in Botswana have online versions available, it is safe to say that currently there are no Botswana-based online Poker sites. With no laws prohibiting online Poker, locals are free to play on any foreign online Poker sites they wish.

 

 

Sports betting in Botswana

 

Online sports betting in Botswana: unregulated

 

Sports betting is legal in Botswana and is, as all other forms of gambling, regulated by the 2012 Gambling Act. Sports betting licenses can be obtained from the Gambling Authority also established in 2012. Apart from betting on international sports events – mainly football – wagering on races is also available. The Horse Racing Society of Botswana believes that horse racing could be used for getting Batswana youth interested in sports and for attracting tourists as well.*

At the moment there are no online sports betting sites licensed in Botswana. Online sports betting is also completely unregulated. As a result, gamblers in Botswana can freely wager on any foreign online sports betting site available to them.

 

*Source: Botswana: Horse Racing Society Targets Youths (allAfrica)

 

Lottery in Botswana

 

Online lottery in Botswana: unregulated

 

The 2012 Gambling Act allows for both private lotteries and a national lottery in Botswana. However, private lotteries may only be operated on a non-profit basis. There is no word on whether any private lottery licenses have been given out yet. The establishment of a national lottery has been initiated with the aim of funding cultural and sports programs, but no national lottery is in operation yet.

There are also no licensed online lottery sites in Botswana. As a result of the lack of regulation, residents of Botswana are free to participate in any international online lottery draws.

 

 

Bitcoin gambling in Botswana

 

Bitcoin gambling in Botswana: unregulated.

 

Bitcoin gambling, as all other forms of online gambling, is unregulated in Botswana. Batswana gamblers are free to play on any Bitcoin casino sites. It may be surprising, but Bitcoin is not completely unknown in Botswana, despite the rather low internet penetration rate. In fact, a Bitcoin ATM – the first in the country – has been operational in Botswana since the spring of 2015.

 

 

Online gambling websites accepting players from Botswana

 

The following online gambling websites accept players from Botswana.

 

Banner for the Betsson online casino, which is available to players from Botswana

Betsson online casino accepting players from Botswana

Banner of the Betsafe online casino, which accepts players from Botswana.

Betsafe online casino accepting players from Botswana

Banner of the Casino Euro online casino, accepting players from Botswana

CasinoEuro online casino accepting players from Botswana

Banner of the Black Lotus online casino accepting players from Botswana.

Black Lotus online casino accepting players from Botswana

Banner of the Lotus Asia online casino, acceptin players from Botswana.

Lotus Asia online casino accepting players from Botswana

Banner of the 32 Red online casino, which accepts players from Botswana.

32Red online casino accepting players from Botswana

Banner for the BGO online casino, available to players from Botswana

BGO online casino accepting players from Botswana

This the banner ad of Gt Bets online casino. The online casino accepts players from Botswana.

GT Bets accepts players from Botswana – accepting Bitcoins as well

 

 

This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2015.10. 14

Summary
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Botswana
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Botswana
Description
An overview of the legal status of gambling and casinos in Botswana.
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