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CMS Expert Guide to gambling laws in Africa

Africa is and has been open for business for some while now. As a general observation, there is and will continue to be a strong economic interest in African economies. From a commercial perspective, Africa is interesting for well-known reasons: a continent with strong population growth, richness of natural resources, and significantly the development of middle classes with pent up demand to expend their disposable income on leisure and other activities such as gambling.

One area that is attracting the most interest is the gambling industry. The Africa gambling markets’ potential in the years to come is evident when one considers that only a handful of countries have blanket prohibitions on gambling activities.  For instance, in North Africa, even some countries where one would expect full prohibition on gambling activities for religious activities, various forms of gambling are permitted particularly for foreigners.

The growth of the gambling sector is closely connected to high penetration of mobile money payments systems originally intended to target the unbanked population in Africa. That said, land-based gambling still plays an important role.

Finally, it is interesting to note that online gambling (where exponential growth is expected) is currently expressly regulated in less than 20 percent of African jurisdictions.


This is a product of CMS Africa led by Keith Mukami, Senior Partner at CMS RM Partners in South Africa. This Guide provides an overview of gambling laws and regulations in the largest African economies by GDP in accordance with the most recent available information and brings together the collective knowledge and experience of CMS Africa and its law firm relationships across the African Continent.

This Guide has been produced with the assistance of the legal practitioners mentioned in the individual country sections of this Guide whose contributions have been invaluable. 

Snapshot Table & Regional Scope

gambling table - africa

Regional Scope

africa gambling map

Although this resource may provide information concerning potential legal issues, it is not a substitute for legal advice from a qualified legal professional. This resource is not created nor designed to address the unique facts or circumstances that may arise in any specific instance. You should not rely on this content as a source of legal advice.