This article is a complete guide to gambling in Namibia. It informs about the current legislation as it pertains to casinos and gambling houses in this country, the different forms of gambling in Namibia, and where you can gamble.
Types of Gambling in Namibia
- Lotteries: Namibia has its own government-run lottery, which is popular and regulated by the Lotteries Board of Namibia.
- Sports Betting: Sports betting is not as popular as casino gambling and playing the national lottery, but there are several bookmakers in Namibia to bet on the horses and sports.
- Land-Based Casinos: There are three casinos in Namibia. Namibia's capital of Windhoek is home to two casinos. You can also find a casino in Swakopmund. In land-based Namibian casinos you can play a variety of slot and video poker machines, as well as table and poker games.
- Gambling Houses: There are hundreds of gambling houses spread throughout Namibia. Licenses have been granted to accommodation establishments, liquor retailers and bookmaking businesses.
- Online Gambling: While online gambling is not regulated in Namibia, there are many online sports betting sites, online casinos, bingo and poker sites accepting players from Namibia. None currently support Namibian Dollars, but you'll still be able to deposit and withdraw your winnings in this currency.
Gambling Legislation and Regulation in Namibia
Gambling is legal and regulated in Namibia. The government passed the Casino and Gambling House Act (Act 32) in 1994, which regulates casinos and gambling houses offering numerous types of gambling under the one roof, including slot machines, table games and poker. The Act established a Casino Board and made provisions for the licensing and supervision of gambling operators.
Within two years of legalized gambling in Namibia, the government became concerned about the proliferation of small gambling houses, which have made gambling more accessible to the Namibian people. The Namibian government took steps to deal with the number of gambling houses and Act 28 of 1996 imposed a 10-year moratorium on the issuing of new gambling licenses. The ban on the granting of casino gambling licenses was lifted in 2006, but still no new land-based casinos have been established since then.
At the time of writing this, there are around 260 gambling house licences and 3 casino licenses that have been issued by the Namibian Casino Board. Although many more gambling houses are operating throughout the country, meaning there is a significant number of illegal operators. To avoid possibly playing at gambling houses operating illegally, you should stick to gambling at one of the regulated land-based casinos in Namibia.
With the current gambling bill being fairly outdated, a draft Gaming and Entertainment Control Bill has been proposed to provide better regulation of gambling establishments and gambling machines, although it's yet to be approved by the House. Should it be passed into law, it will replace the current Casino and Gambling House Act of 1994.
Lotteries in Namibia
Like most countries in Africa, Namibia has its own lottery draws to generate revenue for the state's social welfare, sport and cultural initiatives, as well as for other charitable purposes. The Lotteries Board of Namibia was created under the Lotteries Act of 2002, but it was only in 2005 that the Namibian National Lottery was established. The government of Namibia does not permit any privately run lotteries.
Land Based Casinos in Namibia
Namibia has only three land-based casino resorts at present for those who seek a high quality casino gambling experience. Although there is only a limited number of land-based casinos in the country, these gambling establishments offer a high quality gaming experience and offer a wide variety of casino games.
The biggest casino in Namibia is the Mermaid Casino located inside the Swakopmund Hotel. The casino boasts 180 slot machines, video poker machines and 9 table games including American Roulette, Blackjack, Stud Poker and Casino Hold'em. The hotel is managed by Legacy Hotels & Resorts, which owns and manages 4 and 5-star hotels in Africa and South Africa.
The most well-known casino in Windhoek is the Kalahari Sands Casino, located in a four-star hotel owned by Star International Group. The casino boasts more than 130 slot machines, including 5 progressive jackpot slots, video poker machines, as well as 10 table games ranging from American Roulette, Blackjack and Poker.
You can also have a fun night out at the Desert Jewel Casino and Windhoek Country Club Resort, which is another hotel managed by Legacy Hotels & Resorts. The casino lies next to an 18-hole golf course, offering more than 200 slot and video poker machines, and numerous American Roulette, Blackjack and Poker tables.
Online Casinos in Namibia
Due to the lack of growth in the country's land-based casino industry, many gamblers in Namibia have turned to online casinos for their gambling needs, since it's more convenient, they offer a wider selection of casino games, and you get to claim a nice welcome bonus. While there are no Namibian licensed online casinos, there is a multitude of online casinos accepting players from this region. Gambling at online casinos is not regulated (but not illegal either.)
In our Namibian online casinos section (Lnk) we recommend some of the best places online where you can play real money casino games. These offshore online casino operators are licensed and regulated in other jurisdictions and will provide players with high quality games in a safe and secure environment.
One of the favorite online casinos accepting players in Namibia is 7 Sultans Casino (LINK), which is a Microgaming powered casino with over 500 games, including online slots games, table games, video poker, and live dealer casino games. These games can be accessed via the downloadable casino, instant play casino, and on the go online casino action is possible via the 7 Sultans Mobile Casino.
In fact, all the top Namibia online casinos are mobile friendly. Whether you're with MTC or TN Mobile, you'll be able to enjoy all the fun and latest mobile casino gaming offerings using your same desktop online casino account for a seamless experience.
Online Sports Betting in Namibia
With thousands of people in Namibia partaking in casino gambling both online and offline, you would think sports betting would be a popular activity, but there aren't as many Namibians interested in betting on sports online.
As current gambling legislation doesn't extend beyond brick-and-mortar casino gambling and lotteries, there are no licensed Namibian sports betting sites, however, there are no laws that prohibit individuals from using offshore online sportsbooks that accept wagers from players in Namibia.
In fact, there are quite a few sports bettors in this country using the big online UK bookmakers, which are licensed to offer sports betting. One of the favorite online sports betting sites accepting players from Namibia is Pinnacle Sports, which allows players to place sports wagers on virtually every major sport and league around the world.
Namibia is a country located on the south-western coast of Africa, with a small population of a little more than 2 million people. Neighbouring countries include Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.