Simon’s Guide to Gambling in Tuvalu

This is a picture of Tuvalu, the 4th smallest country in the world. Gambling is illegal in Tuvalu.

Gambling in Tuvalu

Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. The country has gained independence from the United Kingdom on 1 October 1978. With a population of 10,837 (2012 census), and a size of 26 km2, it is the 4th smallest country in the world, with the only countries ranking higher on that list being Nauru, Monaco and the Vatican City.

Tuvalu is not exactly a huge gambling market. It not only has very few inhabitants, its location also makes it an unattractive tourist destination. If it wouldn’t be enough, the Tuvalu Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1964* also prohibits real money gaming on the island state. The relevant part of the Act reads the following:

“No money or money’s worth which any of the players puts down as stakes, or pays by way of losses, or exchanges for tokens used in playing the game, is disposed of otherwise than by payment to a player as winnings.”

The only way to interpret this in my opinion, is that players can play real-money games among themselves, but the second half of the sentence makes it impossible for a gambling operator to realise profit, i.e. to run a gambling business basically.


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*Tuvaluan Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1964






Casino gambling in Tuvalu


Online casino gambling in Tuvalu: illegal, players are not prosecuted


The Tuvalu Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1964 basically prohibits running a for profit gambling business, which obviously covers casinos.

However, the legislation doesn’t mention anything about the prosecution of players or online gambling in offshore licensed casinos, so it is technically not prosecuted for players to gamble on foreign online casino platforms that accept their registrations.




Bingo in Tuvalu


Online Bingo in Tuvalu: illegal, players are not prosecuted


Again, running a commercial Bingo hall is prohibited by the Act and no Bingo halls seem to be operating on the Island.

As for foreign Bingo websites, its safe to say that Tuvaluan players are not prosecuted for playing on such platforms and are accepted by nearly all of them.



Poker in Tuvalu


Online Poker in Tuvalu: illegal, players are not prosecuted


TheGaming and Lotteries Act of 1964 prohibits the operation of games with real money stakes, so it outlaws cash games for sure. Another section of the legislation says gaming is unlawful if “a payment of money or money’s worth was required in order to obtain access to the premises”, so it seems to rule out tournaments as well.

Playing on online Poker websites is not criminalised though, so players are free to play on the ones that accept them.



Sports Betting in Tuvalu

Online sports Betting in Tuvalu: illegal, players are not prosecuted


No section of the legislation implies, that sports betting would in any way be exempt from under the ban, neither offline, nor online. That being said, placing bets with foreign online bookmakers is not penalised within the island state.




Lottery in Tuvalu


Online lottery in Tuvalu: illegal, society and charity lotteries are exempt, players of foreign online platforms are not prosecuted


Lotteries too, are illegal in Tuvalu, although the legislation states: “all lotteries are unlawful unless the Minister has by notice published in the Gazette, exempted a specified lottery from the provisions of this Act”. 

Such exemptions can only be lotteries conducted with a motive other than private gain, like draws organised by certain societies in support of a cultural or charitable cause, or athletic sports.

Lottery players, though, are not penalised. The authorities are after the providers only, so playing a foreign online lottery is possible for players from Tuvalu.




Bitcoin Gambling in Tuvalu


Bitcoin Gambling in Tuvalu: illegal, players are not prosecuted


The regulation mentions the prohibition of running games with stakes in money or money’s worth, which is what Bitcoin is, even in states that don’t recognise it as a legit currency.

Playing on foreign Bitcoin casinos is not a criminal offence in the eyes of the Tuvaluan authorities, nor is it penalised in any way.




Online gambling websites accepting players from Tuvalu


Even though real money gambling is technically illegal in Tuvalu, many online gambling operators licensed in other countries accept players from the island state and individual players are not prosecuted, as only regulations regarding operators are laid down in the Tuvalu Gaming and Lotteries Act of 2008.


The following online gambling websites accept players from Tuvalu.



BGO casino – accepting players from the Tuvalu


BGO online bookmaker accepting players from Tuvalu


32 Red casino accepting players from Tuvalu


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


Black Lotus casino accepting players from Tuvalu



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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. 13

Simon's Guide to Gambling in Tuvalu
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Tuvalu
An overview of the legal status of various forms of gambling in the small island nation, Tuvalu.

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