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Africa - Casinos and Gambling Guide
For a list of casinos in Africa, select a country from the list on the right. Only countries in Africa with gambling or casinos are listed.
Africa Casinos and Gaming Guide
This section of World Casino Directory deals specificially with African casinos and gambling. The continent of Africa has countries with casinos in them and countries with pari-mutuel facilities in them, including horse racing and dog racing or the newer racinos which have slots/video poker, too. Click the following articles for a run-down on specific gambling in this continent. African Poker for the poker guide, or African Lottery for African lottery results and lottery information and last but not least visit this page for the current gambling news in Africa.
African casinos and Gambling in Africa
Everyone is well aware that that the Asian and Latin American casino markets are booming and the European, Australasian and North American jurisdictions are well known. But when it comes to African casinos we have a real dark horse here with much happening in the last few years and what seems like much more on the horizon.
Major casino companies operating in Africa
At one time Sun International owned all the casinos in South Africa and most of the ones in Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. And while Sun international still does own the majority of the 35 casinos in the expanded South African market (it disposed of its Swaziland and Zambia casinos) there are now more than ten casino groups operating on the scene and expanding as we approach 2014. Although not as big as Sun International, three companies in particular that are very ambitious and should expand fast in Africa are Peermont, Kairo International and Games World.
Most people thought when Sun International opened its casinos in Chile on the other side of the world, they would abandon Africa for richer pickings. That was not to be, and they are actually thought to be looking for more African casino acquisitions.
Peermont has built its portfolio to nine gaming properties in South Africa since Sun International lost their monopoly. Peermont has also expanded its casino operations into neighboring Botswana. Peermont operates a total of fourteen properties, nine in South Africa and five in Botswana. Together the Peermont properties offer 1592 hotel rooms, 3229 slot machines and 141 gaming tables.
Kairo International is always looking for new Africa opportunities to build up their casino portfolio. Kairo’s founding directors, were in fact all ex-Sun International who had met in Southern Africa during the early Holiday Inns/Sun International gaming boom of the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was no surprise then that Kairo owned and managed casinos in the highly respected TGI Group Hotels which consisted of 9 operations. At present Kairo currently operates land based casino operations throughout Tanzania (since 1997), Malawi (since 2003) and Ghana (since 2004).
Dubai based Games World International (8 casinos in 4 countries), are new to the market but opening casinos fast across Africa with openings in the unusual but lucrative countries of Liberia, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (3 in the last half of 2013) and Djibouti.
And of course Sun International have continued their expansion in 2013 and now have casinos in five African countries plus casinos in Chile. Sun International has operations in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa.
Gambling sectors have existed in parts of Africa in various forms, be it horse racing, sports betting or casinos since the 1950’s but it is really only in the last 10 years or so that regulators in these jurisdictions have been able to identify the potential these markets have.
The casino industry in Africa is growing at a dizzying pace with many analysts predicting very strong growth during 2013-2016 especially. There are new projects planned for relatively unheard places, taking the gaming industry by surprise such as Togo, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Mauritius and Zambia. In fact Zambia’s Prime Minister called for casinos in all cities and even towns in the country as he opened the Diamond Casino in Lusaka on September 15th 2012. Zambia had only four casinos in the capital Lusaka for 20 years but now with the opening of the Diamond Casino the number of the casinos in the country stands at 22 with 15 being in Lusaka alone and another 3 scheduled to open before the start of 2014.
Yet another new Chinese casino is planned for the Angolan capital of Luanda. In this country which not long ago was racked by civil war and abject poverty even the famous Stanley Ho now has casinos. There is big oil money in not only Angola but many other African nations. Another new large scale project is Dar es Salaam in Northern Africa. Ghana like Zambia is becoming a hot spot for casino expansion and there are now four casinos in the capital city Accra and two more opening in December 2013, one in Temba, and one in Kumasi. In addition, there are another three casino projects planned in Accra in early 2014.
Africa may never become another Macau but many analysts predict it will soon be on a par with the amazing success of Latin America. Most major capitals in Africa now have up to seven casinos and new areas and special zones in and outside of the capital cities are being developed for gaming. Africa has a vast supply of rich resources such as gold, platinum, and oil - and with countries, particularly China, investing hundreds of billions of dollars here there will be an increasing demand for casinos. Not only are Chinese companies investing billions of dollars in many countries in Africa but they are bringing hundreds of thousands of their own workers which often results in many Chinese owned casinos sprouting up across Africa.
Casinos in Africa used to be thought of as being dark and uninviting places were players had little choice of games and were offered poor odds and service. Now most casinos have the latest electronic gaming, whether slots or live/hybrid games. African casinos of the present day are investing a lot of money in their casino environments and product offerings.
South Africa has the most casinos in Africa, with 37 legal casinos and around 38,000 slots in operation. Egypt is close to the number of casinos that South Africa has but the future is not so bright there with recent political uprisings and a new military government that took power in July 2013 and may take a harder line against gambling in the country.
Traditionally, markets in Africa to watch over in the last twenty years were Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia and further north Egypt. In the last few years countries that analysts and investors have their eyes on for rapid development in the casino/gaming industry are Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Angola. Indian Ocean casino gambling also catches the eye with greatly increased numbers in Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion and Madagascar. Of the afore-mentioned countries more illegal casinos are closing and legal ones opening and slot shops and low payout machines are also starting to become more popular.
In many parts of North Africa though gambling is still not allowed due to religious beliefs although some forms of gambling exist in small forms, purely for tourists. Local nationals are not allowed to gamble in these venues that typically exist in tourist hotels. The regime changes in recent years after the often violent uprisings of the 2012 Arab Spring in some North African countries such as Tunisia have shaken investor and tourist confidence and resorts and casinos have had to close down.
With the influx of the Chinese and other ex-pats table games such as roulette and especially baccarat (the Chinese favorite by far), are easily the most popular games in Africa. Casinos are also introducing modern video slots as opposed to old stepper slots that were so popular in Africa for decades.
Casino gambling is growing faster and stronger than evern in Africa. You will find 100's of casinos here - you might wish to note that most African casinos will be found in Egypt with more than 20 casinos and South Africa with more than 40 casinos within it's boundaries.
Tourism is a big part of Africa's economy and tourist like to gamble. For the most part Africa has met the match.
Casinos in Africa are on a rapid growth phase and as the sector improves, new developments legal and otherwise are fast occurring. For example, representatives of the casino sector have now signed the country's first-ever national gambling industry code of conduct, which makes Africa one of the first places globally to do so outside the U.S.A.
Africa poker / Texas Hold'em
The mind game of Poker is quite popular in Africa, especially in the southern part where the 2005 poker tour is all set to begin with national tournaments. An important association in this regard was formed in 2004 under the aegis of the South African Poker Association. It represents the interests of the country's poker gaming community and aims to set standard guidelines for all common variants of Poker, in tandem with international rules. Organizations registered with SAPA are those that have passed stringent qualifying procedures to best ensure that they abide by legal criteria; are legitimate in operations; adhere to the accepted set of rules and enjoy good reputation.
Gaming is most popular in South Africa and the listed gaming groups include Sun International, Gold Reef Casino Resorts, and Peermont Global, amongst others. The Casino Association Casa represents South Africa's licensed casino industry. In a short span of eight years, the new industry has been responsible for generating more than R12-billion in new investment in all nine provinces, adding over R36-billion to GDP in terms of economic multipliers.
Popular countries in Africa to gamble
The popular countries in Africa for gambling include Botswana, Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Uganda to name a few. The Raineau group is an international group of gaming and resorts and has three operations in Egypt. As per the Botswana casino control board there are 8 casinos operating in the country, among which the two largest ones are the Gaborone Sun and the grand palm.
Africa Pari-mutuel wagering
In pari-mutuel wagering, people bet against each other, rather than the house, and thus the odds are set by the level of betting on each entry. Pari-mutuel wagering is most commonly associated with horse racing and dog racing, but can be applied to various other events also. The Ivory Coast lottery is the only one in sub-Saharan Africa that has a PMU system using information technology. At other places the process is all done by hand. Besides this, all pari-mutuel bets in South Africa are commingled into single national pools under the banner of Saftote.
Other tourist activities in Africa
Besdies gaming, Africa has many activities to offer touristers. People who visit can choose to visit the over 20 national parks, have a dip at the exotic beaches, visit the wine estates or the many nature reserves, the continent has to offer. One can also experience the diversity in lifestyle with the hustle and bustle of city life at places like Johannesburg or Cape Town and the quiet and solitude at Pilgrims rest.