In Samoa, casino gambling is legal and licensed but with heavy restrictions in place. Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa (its domain suffix is still .ws), is an Oceanian country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962.
The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and Savai’i, one of the biggest islands in Polynesia. The capital city, Apia is situated on the island of Upolu.
All forms of gambling, except the national lottery had been illegal in the archipelago state prior to 2010, when the government enacted the Samoa Casino and Gambling Control Act, which effectively legalised gambling inside casino resorts licensed by the authorities. The Act laid down the legal framework for controlling, taxing and overseeing the Samoan casino industry. The Act made it possible for two casino licenses to be issued in the first 10 years after its enactment, subsequent licenses cannot be issued before 2020*.
The 2010 Samoa Casino and Gambling Control Act also called for the establishment of the Samoa Gambling Control Authority**, which is the legal body responsible for controlling and overseeing the industry, as well as the licensing of casino operators.
Locals are restricted from entering the casinos in Samoa, only tourists with a foreign passport are allowed inside these venues. The only legal games of chance locals can participate in are the lottery products of Sportslotto, the state-owned lottery company in Samoa.
Online gambling is not specifically mentioned in the legislation and there don’t appear to be any ISP bans in place targeting foreign online gambling sites. There also don’t appear to be any laws in force in Samoa, that would criminalise placing bets with foreign online operators. The country’s internet penetration in 2013 was a mere 15.2%***, so legislators might not feel the need to regulate online gambling just yet. Therefore, it is safe to assume, that Samoan players are not prosecuted to access, and play on foreign online gambling websites.
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- Casino gambling in Samoa
- Bingo in Samoa
- Poker in Samoa
- Sports betting in Samoa
- Lottery in Samoa
- Bitcoin gambling in Samoa
- Online gambling websites accepting players from Samoa
Casino gambling in Samoa
Online casino gambling in Samoa: not regulated
Land based casinos in Samoa are legal and regulated by the authorities. Licenses are issued by the Samoa Gambling Control Authority under the 2010 Samoa Casino and Gambling Control Act. There is only one such venue in operation in Samoa currently, the Whitesands Casino. The Gambling Control Authority withdrew the license of the other licensee, China’s Exhibitions Tourism Group (ETG), in the face of allegations of corruption*.
Online casinos don’t appear to be specifically regulated. Although, the state does not issue online gambling licenses, there appear to be no laws criminalising gambling on foreign online casino platforms, nor does the government seems to block such sites.
Bingo in Samoa
Online bingo in Samoa: not regulated
The Whitesands Casino, the only legal casino in Samoa does not offer any bingo games to its players and there are also no reported bingo halls on the islands anywhere else. Moreover, locals are restricted from entering Samoan casinos.
Online bingo, on the other hand, is not directly regulated. There appear to be no internet block on any foreign sites and there are no laws criminalising gambling on foreign online platforms.
Poker in Samoa
Online poker in Samoa: not regulated
Poker is legal and licensed in the country’s single legal land based casino (and will be in subsequent ones also, if more are built). Whitesands Casino Samoa offers poker tables to its players.
Online poker is not directly regulated by the 2010 Samoa Casino and Gambling Control Act. Internet freedom is not disturbed by any censoring system in the country, although connections are somewhat slow, expensive and unreliable. Players, who play poker on foreign online sites don’t appear to face prosecution or charges of any sort.
Sports betting in Samoa
Online sports betting in Samoa: not regulated
Sports betting is not allowed to be conducted inside licensed casinos in Samoa. No other land based operators are allowed to offer games of chance in Samoa, except the state lottery, but they don’t seem to operate any sports betting games.
Online sports betting on foreign platforms, on the other hand, seems to go largely unregulated. Foreign platforms are not blocked and players who place bets with foreign online bookmakers don’t appear to be prosecuted or penalised.
Lottery in Samoa
Online lottery in Samoa: legal, state monopoly, no online platform
There is a state lottery in Samoa, which is the only legal form of online gambling in the country that is available for locals. The state-backed company offering lottery games in the archipelago state is called Sportslotto, and it operates four lottery games on the islands: OZ Lotto, the Samoa National Lotto, Tattslotto and Powerball. Tickets for the draws are available at land based betting shops, but the company doesn’t offer an online platform.
There don’t appear to be any specific ban in place on foreign online lotteries. No such sites are reportedly blocked and players don’t appear to face charges for gambling on foreign online platforms.
Bitcoin gambling in Samoa
Bitcoin gambling in Samoa: not regulated
There don’t appear to be any regulations in place in Samoa restricting the use of Bitcoin or other digital currencies. Foreign online operators also don’t appear to be blocked or specifically banned, therefore it is safe to assume that Samoan players are not prosecuted for placing bets with foreign Bitcoin gambling platforms.
Online gambling websites accepting players from Samoa
Samoa has no specific laws on online gambling and foreign operators. Many of the major international online gambling providers accept players from the country.
The following online casinos and bookmakers accept players from Samoa.
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Last updated: 2015. 11. 05.