Betting is legal in Botswana. It is one of the landlocked country found in southern Africa. It has a population of approximately 2.25 million people.
A big chunk of Kalahari Desert covers Botswana. Brick-and-mortar casinos are popular among Botswana betting enthusiasts.
There are only 10 available brick-and-mortar gambling shops in Botswana. Betting laws in Botswana are not solid, there is a big chunk with no specific online betting legislation.
The online betting sector is unregulated and will remain a mystery. You must be at least at the age of 18 to take part in any type of betting.
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With the current gambling legislation being fairly outdated, the drafting of a new gambling bill was initiated in 2011 by the Ministry of Trade and Ministry to update the current gambling laws in Botswana to properly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The current Lotteries and Betting Act technically allows lotteries to take place, but the legislation is outdated and unable to satisfy the country’s lottery industry.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.
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 favourite 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.
Essential information for bettors in Botswana
Apart from being able to place their bets on any online bookie they prefer, punters from Botswana don’t pay any tax on their winnings. With no framework to regulate the online betting landscape, there are no taxes to worry about.
Land-based bookmakers on the other hand must be licensed by the Gambling Authority, because otherwise they are illegal. Despite talks about issuing betting licenses in 2017, there are no licensed bookmakers yet.
As a result, any betting shop you might come across will most probably be illegal. Therefore, just stick to online betting for the time being.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Players are free to use all available payment methods in the country, since no restrictions are in place.
There are also a few local payment methods, like Airtel or M-Pesa, but you will have to check if the bookmaker you are opting for accepts them.
Skrill and Neteller are available in Botswana too, offering fast withdrawals and keeping your data private and safe.
The future of sports betting in Botswana
The current gambling environment in Botswana is promising and leaves a lot of room for development. Ever since the land-based activity was regulated, the revenue from taxes kept increasing from one year to another.
This should serve as an example for regulating online betting as well. Issuing the first licenses should drive the competition and the services up.
The Gambling Authority in Botswana is nonetheless doing a great job organizing the gambling landscape, with a focus on responsible gaming as well.
Is it safe to bet online in Botswana?
The local gambling authority has been making a lot of progress towards regulating and safeguarding the country’s betting market. However, until it’s fully set and good to go, just stick to international bookmakers like the ones we list in this text and bet worry-free.
Is online betting legal in Botswana?
You may access any online bookmaker you want. The existing law only refers to land-based gambling. So, there’s nothing illegal with online betting.
Is betting exchange allowed in Botswana?
There is no law preventing you from accessing a betting exchange. As a matter of fact, you can access the world’s best and biggest betting exchange, Betfair, where you can trade bets with punters from around the globe.
Are winnings from online betting taxed?
The law framework doesn’t apply to online betting, so, that’s an easy ‘no’ here. Bet on and you simply get to keep what you win.