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Differences in Gambling Laws in Africa Versus Other Parts of the World

Differences in Gambling Laws in Africa Versus Other Parts of the World

There’s no way around it; gambling laws are varied and confusing. What’s perfectly legit and popular in one region is illegal and grounds for lawful punishment somewhere else. So how do you go about navigating the complexities of the gambling sphere? Here, we’ve aimed to break it down for you with a look at how Africa’s betting laws differ from those of other countries.

Here in Africa, betting is big business in many regions and estimates suggest the online gambling market in Africa could reach 7.1 million users by 2028, generating billions in revenue. However, gambling participation and regulations vary significantly across different regions and countries. While some countries have established gambling industries, others have bans or restrictions. Studies have shown participation rates exceeding 70% among youth in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. South Africa leads the pack, generating 40-50% of Africa’s gambling revenue as well as Namibia which has casinos concentrated in tourist areas, which contribute heavily to bringing visitors to the area. And then there are some areas where there are total bans, like in Burundi and Eritrea.

The gambling scene in Africa – in the parts where the hobby is allowed to be enjoyed, that is – is a heady mix of physical casinos and an ever-growing mobile sector driven by increasing mobile phone ownership. Estimates suggest between 44% and 65% of the population owns a mobile phone, with smartphone ownership reaching 23%.

Asia’s gambling market is estimated to be worth over $500 billion, accounting for more than half of the global market share. The continent also has a diverse regulatory setup, ranging from thriving, glitzy, glamourous casino industries in places like Macau and Singapore to strict prohibitions, particularly in China. However, some Asian countries have more established regulations and initiatives compared to Africa in terms of responsible gambling.

Licensing approaches in Asia are complex; take, for example, Korea. The country adopts highly restrictive policies, with only limited forms of gambling, such as sports lotteries and horse racing being legal. Casinos are accessible only to foreigners in designated zones, but the attitude towards online casinos has become much more favorable in recent times (source: However, the licensing landscape is highly restricted, so getting your hands on one isn’t easy.

Europe offers lots of fun gambling options, including land-based casinos, online gambling, lotteries, and sports betting. In Europe, regulations vary, with some countries having stricter rules (e.g. France) and others being more liberal (e.g., Malta, Gibraltar). Stringent licensing processes with high standards are common, and often centralized within each country. Some countries impose specific gambling taxes, and while they vary, they are generally lower than those in Africa.

Europe is considered the leader of the pack when it comes to comprehensive responsible gambling frameworks, often incorporating self-exclusion schemes and player protection measures. Gambling is also extremely popular here, thanks in part to the stringent regulations which foster safety and confidence for many bettors. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) estimated that 29.8 million customers used online gambling services offered by their member companies across 21 European countries in 2021. And, in 2022, there was a 23% rise in gambling and reports suggest that this figure will continue to increase.

Business Insider


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