This article is a complete guide to gambling in Botswana. It discusses current gambling legislation, the different forms of gambling in Botswana, and the land-based casinos where you can gamble safely.
Casino gambling is the only form of gambling that has been regulated in Botswana. A number of licensed land-based resorts and casinos exist for the most part to attract the tourist dollar.
Since the gambling laws haven't been updated in the era of online gambling and sports betting, Botswana does not have any legislation specific to online gambling, but online gambling is not illegal either.
Types of Gambling in Botswana
- Lotteries: Botswana does not have its own national lottery or other lotto games for that matter.
- Land-Based Casinos: Although Botswana's population is fairly small, there are quite a few casino resorts where you can play casino games. While some of these casinos are open 24/7 around the clock, many are open for a limited number of hours. The most popular casino games at land-based casino establishments are the usual suspects: Roulette, Blackjack, Poker and of course the Slot Machines.
- Sports Betting: Since land-based gambling doesn't extend beyond casinos, there are no sportsbooks located in Botswana, so you cannot walk into a betting shop to place a bet.
- Online Gambling: The online gambling industry is not regulated, but you can still gamble at various online casinos, online sportsbooks, bingo and poker sites that accept players from Botswana.
Gambling Legislation and Regulation in Botswana
With the current gambling legislation being fairly outdated, the drafting of a new gambling bill was initiated in 2011 by the Ministry of Trade and Ministry to update the current gambling laws in Botswana to properly reflect the current practices. If passed it will replace the Casino Act and the Lotteries and Betting Act, which at the time of this writing, currently regulates the gambling industry in Botswana.
Of particular interest in this draft bill is the establishment of a National Lottery Fund to generate revenue for the government of Botswana and relieve it of the burden of allocating funds for national, sports and arts programmes.
The current Lotteries and Betting Act technically allows lotteries to take place, but the legislation is outdated and unable to satisfy the country's lottery industry. In 2002, a gambling policy was passed, calling for a National Lottery and to stop the proliferation of land-based casino resorts being developed. The attempt at doing this, however, didn't amount to anything, and implementation of the Lotteries and Betting Act has been restricted to raffles for non-profits.
The Botswana Casino Control Board is responsible for all the casino and slots operations within its jurisdiction. Botswana is also a member of the Gaming Regulators Africa Forum (GRAF), a representative body of gambling regulators within the African Continent. The forum is attended by top experts and regulators from each of the GRAF member states, so that baseline standards are developed and concerns are addressed.
Click here for the official Botswana Gambling Bill and Gambling Act.
Land Based Casinos in Botswana
As per the Botswana Casino Control Board, some ten licensed brick-and-mortar casinos have been established. These casinos are located within hotels and have their own restaurants to make them popular destinations for tourists. Gaborone and Francistown are the two major cities in Botswana, so naturally you'll find casino gaming establishments in these areas.
The two largest casinos in Botswana are the Gaborone Sun Hotel and Casino, which if the name didn't give it away, is located in Gaborone, and the Grand Palm Hotel Casino Convention Resort, which is located in Gaborone West. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offer a wide range of slot machines and other exciting casino games you can play.
The Sediment & Cresta Thapama Hotel in Francistown is open from 11am to 2am every day and offers its patrons more than 80 gaming machines and 6 table and poker games, including Roulette, Blackjack and Casino Hold'em.
Some of the other brick-and-mortar casinos in Botswana include King's Casino, Letsatsi Casino, Menateng Casino, Moonlite Casino, Sedibeng Casino, Syringa Casino and Marang Hotel and Casino, which is run by Sun International Group, a South African hotel chain. In fact, a few of the casinos in Botswana are operated by Sun International. Keep in mind, however, that in order to play in Botswana casinos, you need to be at least 18 years of age.
Online Casinos in Botswana
It is not illegal at all to gamble at online casinos in Botswana. As there are no laws pertaining to online gambling, there are no licensed online casinos in Botswana. With that being said, there are many online casinos accepting players from this region in Africa. They are licensed and regulated in other jurisdictions and offer a high quality gaming experience, including the likes of Bet365 Casino, a very well-known bookmaker, but you can also choose from and play over 300 games. Their online casino platform runs on the software developed by PlayTech and it's very polished.
If you're unsure of where you should play, in our Botswana online casinos section we recommend the best online casinos, so anyone who wants to try casino games at online casinos that accept players from Botswana can have the peace of mind in knowing they're playing at a trusted and reputable online casino.
Most of the top online casinos accepting players from Botswana offer mobile casinos these days. This unique gaming experience can be a lot of fun and experienced whilst on the go using any compatible smartphone. It should be compatible with most mobile network service carriers from Botswana including BeMobile.
Online Sports Betting in Botswana
Botswana is operating land-based casinos only, so anyone who is wanting to place wagers on sporting outcomes will have to use an online sportsbook, of which there are many accepting players from this region of the world.
One of the favorite online sports betting sites is Bet365. When you're done playing their awesome casino games, you can hit up their sportsbook. They cover a wide range of sports and leagues around the world, including the local Botswana Premier League, as well as offer a variety of different bet types. Just accept the fact that while you can deposit and withdraw your winnings in Pula, this sportsbook and casino uses currencies like the Dollar, Pound and Euro.
Bordered by South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Botswana is a country located in the central region of Southern Africa. The country is very flat and dominated by the Kalahari Desert. The total population of Botswana is approximately 2 million people.