Simon’s Malawi Lottery and Gambling Guide

Picture of Lake Malawi, Africa's third largest lake. Gambling is legal in Malawi.

Malawi Lottery and Gambling Guide


Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi (formerly known as Nyasaland) is a landlocked country located in Southeast Africa. It shares borders with Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique to the south, east, and west. Malawi has the third biggest lake in Africa called Lake Malawi. The country is amongst the smallest in Africa as the lake takes almost a third of its area. Malawi’s capital and largest city is Lilongwe with a population around 1 million. Malawi’s official language is English while the native language is Chichewa.

The area was first settled by Bantu  groups around the 10th century. The British conquered and colonized the territory in the late 19th century. Malawi remained a colony until 1964 when it gained independence from the United Kingdom. After gaining independence, the country became a one-party state under the presidency of  Hastings Banda, who remained in office till 1994. After the replacement of Banda, a new constitution was issued. Nowadays, Malawi has a multi-party government.

Malawi is amongst the least developed countries in the world and heavily relies on foreign aid. Malawi faces problems like low life expectancy, the high prevalence of AIDS, poor healthcare and education to name a few.

Gambling in Malawi is legal since the country’s Gaming Act of 1996. The Gaming Act of 1996 established the Malawi Gaming Board which had responsibilities like issuing licences and oversee any gambling operations. The national lottery was controlled by the National Lotteries Board. However, these 2 entities merged and became the Malawi Gaming Board and Lotteries Authority which is responsible for regulating and controlling the gaming industry altogether in the country today.*

There are currently 2 licenced casinos operating in the country, the Kairo International Limited – Colony Club Casino and the American Pirates Casino Limited. These casinos offer the most popular games like roulette, poker, blackjack, and slot machines to name a few. Gambling in Malawi is a fast growing business so the country has the chance to become a gaming powerhouse in the future.

Online gambling is not regulated as of now, so players from Malawi can enjoy all their favorite casino games online too.



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*Gaming Board – About Us






Casino gambling in Malawi


Online casino gambling in Malawi: not regulated


Gambling is legal and regulated by the Malawi Gaming Board and Lotteries Authority. There are 2 casinos operating currently in the country. These casinos offer all the popular games you would expect from a casino (poker, blackjack, roulette, slots, etc.).  Online gambling is not illegal but not regulated either. Therefore, players from Malawi are accepted in numerous offshore online casinos to try out their luck.



Bingo in Malawi


Online bingo in Malawi: not regulated


Bingo is a very popular form of gambling around the world, especially in the United States. Despite its worldwide popularity, there aren’t any bingo halls in Malawi as of now. Gambling is a fast growing industry in Malawi, so maybe we’ll see a land-based bingo hall in the country in the following years. Until then, players from Malawi can enjoy a good bingo game in numerous offshore online casinos.



Poker in Malawi


Online poker in Malawi: not regulated


Poker is quite possibly the most popular casino game ever created. Its ever growing popularity could be the result of the constant television broadcasts and regularly held national and world championships. Many would argue that poker involves more skill than luck, but in nature, it still counts as a form of gambling as it’s mostly played in casinos. Players from Malawi can play poker in the 2 land-based casinos, or try out their luck (or skills) in an offshore online one.


Sports betting in Malawi


Online sports betting in Malawi: not regulated


Sports betting is one of the most common forms of gambling out there. Gambling is legal in Malawi, therefore, sports betting too. The only licenced sports betting facility in the country is Premier Betting as of now. The company opened in the summer of 2015.* Malawian players can enjoy sports betting at numerous only bookmakers too if they prefer playing from the comfort of their homes.



*Nyasa Times: Sports Betting Company Opens in Malawi

Lottery in Malawi


Online lottery in Malawi: not regulated


Arguably, the lottery is the most common form of gambling around the world. It is safe to say that where gambling is legal there is a lottery. It is no different in Malawi either. Like many other forms of gambling, the lottery is licenced and regulated by the Malawi Gaming Board and Lotteries Authority. There is only one company right now which can legally conduct lotteries in Malawi, the Gidani International Limited.* The company received its licence in the summer of 2015, just like the sports betting facility, Premier Betting. Malawian players are also able to play lotteries in many offshore online casinos.



*Nyasa Times: Malawi licences South Africa Firm to Operate National Lotteries

Bitcoin gambling in Malawi


Bitcoin gambling in Malawi: not regulated


Bitcoin is a digital currency often referred to as a “cryptocurrency” invented back in 2008. It quickly gained worldwide popularity as an alternative mean 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 specialise in it. However, Bitcoin is still a relatively new phenomenon so only just a handful of countries issued laws concerning it. Some countries see Bitcoin as an asset rather than a currency (like Norway for example). As of now, there aren’t any specific laws in Malawi concerning Bitcoin gambling or Bitcoin in general. Players from Malawi are accepted in many offshore online casinos specialising in Bitcoin.



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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: 2016.01.21.

Simon's Malawi Lottery and Gambling Guide
Article Name
Simon's Malawi Lottery and Gambling Guide
An overview of gambling's legal status in Malawi.

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