Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Burundi

The Lydia Ludic casino situated in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.

Lydia Ludic Casino in Bujumbura, capital of Burundi 
Source: Lydia Ludic


The legal status of gambling in Burundi is rather complex. According to the 2008 penal code of Burundi, all forms of gambling are illegal, including lotteries.* Despite this, the country has a national lottery called LONA. The capital of Burundi, Bujumbura also hosts a casino operated by the international chain Lydia Ludic, established in 2001.

The very existence of a casino in Burundi is controversial. Burundi, located in East Africa, is considered the poorest country in the world. The country has a long history of conflicts between the Hutu and Tutsi population, with two occasions classified as genocide.

It is questionable, whether operating a casino in such a poor region can be considered ethical. Lydia Ludic, however, stated that they established the casino both to provide jobs to the locals (which are in high demand) and to invest the profits from the casino in improving the community.

The casino itself is geared towards the locals, with low value slot machines and relatively low possible winnings. Tourists aren’t likely to be visiting Burundian casinos anytime soon, as tourism in Burundi is practically non-existent. This is mostly the result of the instability in the country due to the division of Hutus and Tutsis. Though the country is no longer in the state of civil war, unrest, protests, and even acts of terrorism are rather frequent.

There are no laws in Burundi regulating online gambling, though it could be argued that the section of the penal code prohibiting gambling is applicable to its online forms as well. There are no reports of any Burundian people prosecuted for online gambling, nor are foreign online gambling sites blocked. Those few in the country who have access to the internet – the internet penetration rate is under 5% – are most likely free to play on international gambling sites.


*Source: Code Pénal de Burundi (French)


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Casino gambling in Burundi


Online casino gambling in Burundi: unregulated


Although the 2008 Penal Code of Burundi prohibits all forms of gambling, the country has at least one legally operated casino. Lydia Ludic Burundi, situated in the capital, Bujumbura can hardly be called a casino by first world standards, as it hosts only a few slot machines and no table games. The main customers of the gambling hall are relatively well-to-do locals and possibly a few tourists.

The Lydia Ludic casino has no online platforms, therefore online casino games are not available (there are no other Burundi-based online casino sites either). Due to the poverty and the low rate of internet users, online casino gambling is not exactly prevalent in the country. Still, those with the means to gamble online can do so, as there are no laws prohibiting Burundian residents from accessing foreign online casino sites.

Several online casino sites have no restrictions against accepting players from Burundi. However, there are practically no online sites accepting Burundian francs, the country’s national currency, which might pose some difficulty to players.



Bingo in Burundi


Online Bingo in Burundi: unregulated


Bingo is – as in most of Africa – not a popular game in Burundi. There are no Bingo halls in Burundi, and neither the Lydia Ludic casino, nor the national lottery offers any Bingo games.

There are also no online Bingo sites based in Burundi, but players are free to play on all international Bingo sites that are available to them.



Poker in Burundi


Online Poker in Burundi: unregulated


The 2008 penal code of Burundi states that those games are prohibited, where chance plays an essential part in determining the outcome of an event. Poker is often considered a game of skill, not a game of chance, and is likely exempt from the prohibition on gambling. However, there are no reported cases of any organised live Poker game in Burundi, and the Lydia Ludic casino hosts no live Poker games either.

Online Poker is not regulated in Burundi, and without any prohibiting laws, locals are free to choose from international Poker sites. Foreign Poker sites are indeed their only option, as there are no online Poker sites based in Burundi.



Sports betting in Burundi


Online sports betting in Burundi: unregulated


Currently the legal status of sports betting in Burundi is unclear. Under the 2008 penal code of Burundi, it would be considered a game of chance and thus illegal. There are plans, however, to introduce sports as part of the repertoire of the national lottery of Burundi.

Online sports betting is wholly unregulated, and there are no Burundian sports betting sites. On the other hand, several international sports betting sites welcome players from Burundi.



Lottery in Burundi


Online lottery in Burundi: unregulated


Burundi has a national lottery by the name of LONA. As LONA has no website, it is unclear what lottery games are on offer. Though there are plans to introduce sports betting, this option is not yet available.* The Burundi Lydia Ludic casino was also established in partnership with LONA.

As the national lottery has no website, there are currently no online lottery games available in Burundi. Locals are free, however, to participate in lottery draws on international websites.


*Source: Burundi Ministry of Finance (burundi-forum)


Bitcoin gambling in Burundi


Bitcoin gambling in Burundi: unregulated


Bitcoin gambling, as all other forms of online gambling, is unregulated. Naturally there are no Bitcoin casinos based in Burundi, but players are free to access international Bitcoin gambling sites. However, Bitcoin usage is not widespread in the country, and one would be hard-pressed to find a legit Bitcoin trader in the country.



Online gambling websites accepting players from Burundi


Online gambling is not regulated in Burundi.

The following websites accept players from Burundi.


BGO casino – accepting players from Burundi


BGO online bookmaker accepting players from Burundi


32 Red casino accepting players from Burundi


32 Red online bookmaker, sports betting website accepting players from Burundi


Black Lotus casino accepting players from Burundi




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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. 16

Simon's Guide to Gambling in Burundi
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Burundi
An overview of the legal status and prevalence of gambling in Burundi.

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