Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Mali

Picture of a luxury hotel in Mali.

Guide to Gambling in Mali


Mali, officially the Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is the 8th largest country in Africa. The population is around 14 million. Mali’s capital city is Bamako with a population of almost 2 million. Mali consists of 8 regions and its borders to the north reach deep into the Sahara Desert. Therefore, the majority of the population resides in the southern part of the country, specifically around the Niger and Senegal rivers. Around 55% of the population are non-denominational Muslims. Mali’s economy centers around agriculture and fishing but the country has prominent natural resources like gold and salt too.

Present-day Mali was part of a couple West African empires throughout its history like the Ghana Empire, the Songhai Empire, and the Mali Empire (for which Mali is named). At the height of its power, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa. These empires controlled the trans-Saharan trade at their time. In the late 19th century, France seized control of the territory during the Scramble of Africa and made it part of French Sudan.

French Sudan (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with Senegal in 1959 and achieved independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. However, shortly after this, Senegal withdrew from the Federation so the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long one party rule, a coup in 1991 led to a writing of a new constitution and the establishment of a democratic multi-party state which is still intact today.

Mali is a developing country with almost half of the population living below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day. The Human Development Index listed Mali at 179th in 2013. The country’s official language is French (due to the French rule) but the native language is Bambara, though.

Gambling is considered illegal in Mali, so there are no land-based or online gambling providers currently in the country. Gambling is illegal mostly because of the dominant religion of Islam (the teachings of the Quran forbids all forms of gambling). Technically online gambling is illegal too, but players are not prosecuted, so they can play in many offshore online casinos without risk.


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Casino gambling in Mali


Online casino gambling in Mali: not regulated


As of now, there are no brick-and-mortar casinos operating in Mali, due to gambling being illegal. Some sources mention a casino located in Bamako (the Laico L’Amitie Bamako Hotel and Casino), but it is not listed at any official websites, though. Online gambling is illegal too, but players who play in foreign online casinos are not prosecuted. At least, there weren’t any cases in the country involving online gambling yet. The anti-gambling mindset comes from mainly the Islamic teachings as the Quran forbids all forms of gambling.



Bingo in Mali


Online bingo in Mali: not regulated


Bingo is a quite popular game around the world, especially in the US. Gambling is considered illegal in Mali, so bingo is illegal too. Therefore, there are no land-based or online bingo halls operating in the country. Online gambling is considered illegal too, but players are not prosecuted. Many offshore online casinos accept players from Mali if they decide to play a good game of bingo.



Poker in Mali


Online poker in Mali: not regulated


Poker is quite possibly the most popular casino game ever created. The main reasons behind its ever growing popularity are the constant television broadcasts and world championships held regularly. Many would consider poker as a game of skill rather than a game of chance but in nature, poker still counts as a form of gambling. All forms of gambling are considered illegal in Mali. However, those players from Mali who plays in an offshore online casino won’t be prosecuted. Therefore, many foreign online casino accepts players from Mali.


Sports betting in Mali


Online sports betting in Mali: not regulated


Sports are very popular amongst Malian citizens, especially football and basketball. Football’s popularity took off after the 2002 African Cup of Nations, which was hosted by Mali. The women’s national basketball team is pretty successful as they competed in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. However, betting on sports is considered illegal in the country by Islamic laws. Therefore, there aren’t any land-based or online bookmakers operating in Mali. Players from Mali aren’t prosecuted if the decide to play in an offshore online casino, though.



Lottery in Mali


Online lottery in Mali: not regulated


Arguably, the lottery is the most common form of gambling in the world. Most of the countries where gambling is legal features some kind of a national lottery. However, gambling is illegal in Mali, therefore, there is no national lottery or any kinds for that matter. Online gambling is considered illegal too, but players won’t be prosecuted if they decide to play in an offshore online casino.



Bitcoin gambling in Mali


Bitcoin gambling in Mali: not regulated


Bitcoin is a digital currency often referred to as a “cryptocurrency” invented back in 2008. It quickly became popular around the world as an alternative form of payment. Bitcoin gambling appeared shortly after the introduction of the currency and continues to grow in popularity as more and more online casinos started to specialize in it. Bitcoin is still a relatively new phenomenon so there is only just a handful of countries whose issued laws concerning it. Some countries consider Bitcoin as an asset rather than a currency (like Norway for example). As of now, there are no specific laws in Mali concerning Bitcoin gambling or Bitcoin in general.



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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: 2016.01.19.

Simon's Guide to Gambling in Mali
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Mali
An overview of gambling's legal status in Mali.

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