Why the casino and betting control acts were so important for the Zambian gambling industry - Zambian Watchdog

Wednesday 25th March 2020

Why gambling is big in Zambia?

Zambia has a population of more than 14 million people and over 60% of them own mobile phones which has allowed the continuous growth of their gambling Industry. Since the revenue from the different forms of gambling is always increasing, the government of Zambia has developed numerous ways to control the various gambling businesses by using a gambling legislation.

The country engages in different forms of gambling which are all regulated by the government of Zambia. The laws don't mention anything about online gambling which is also growing exponentially in the country.

Types of gambling in Zambia

The Casino Gambling Act and the betting Control act have really cemented gambling in the country of Zambia. They offer:


The main lottery in the country is known as the Zambian Lotto. The lotto is won by guessing 6 numbers (from 39 possible numbers) which match the winning numbers. The highest payout in the Zambian Lotto was a whopping 858 million kwachas which was split with 12 of the winners. The full amount corresponded to around 56 million USD.

Land-Based Casinos

There are four major land-based casinos in the country. The capital city Lusaka has one called The Great Wall casino which offer popular games like blackjack and roulette and other casino slots. Livingstone hosts two out of the four casinos namely, The New Fairmont Casino and the Falls Casino. The last land-based casino is located in the Makeni suburb area. It is called Majestic Casino Resort and it opens daily at 11 am.

Sports Betting

Sports, especially football, is one of the favourite pastime for the people of Zambia. They wager on their favourite teams for fun and also to earn some profit. In this context, the Nigerian bookmaker Lionsbet is very popular in Zambia as well, offering a huge number of football markets where African people can bet on. They also like engage in different kinds of sports betting like cricket, tennis, basketball.

Control Acts of Zambia

Over the years, the Zambian government emerged to support and regulate the gambling industry which is not the norm in many African countries. Through regulation, the government of Zambia stands to banish illegal practices of in the industry. Let's look at the acts that effected gambling in Zambia.

1. Zambia Casino Act

This Act was essential back in the year 1992 when it was created to allow the casinos to be issued with operating licenses. It replaced the older Casino and Gaming Machine Prohibition Act. The main purpose of the Act was to offer gambling services to the citizens through regulation of new gambling businesses.

These licenses were strictly for hotel establishments and were supposed to be renewed every 5 years. Different types of licenses determined the number of gaming machines and tables of each premise. Inspection of the gaming areas was mandatory through cameras and casino inspectors. The Act also issued temporary licenses that were valid for a maximum of 30 days. Gaming machines were not part of this temporary licensing.

2. The Betting Control Act

Sports betting, which is pretty popular in the country, is controlled through this act that was passed in the year 1958. Ever since it was passed, many amendments have been made, with the most recent amendment being made in the year 1994. The Betting Control and Licensing regulates the sports betting and it consists of 4 members that actively offer licenses to betting businesses and bookies. Issued licenses of betting companies last for a year but can be renewed.


The two acts have really allowed the people of Zambia to engage in secure gambling and to earn real money from it. Through the regulations, only authentic licenses are given allowing people to have more trust in gambling businesses. It has also created revenue for the government and created jobs that wouldn't have been there otherwise.

Online casinos have also come to offer people other options to indulge in their favourite casino games on the go through the internet.

Many African nations haven't appreciated gambling as much as Zambia has but there are some with similar acts like those for Zambia. In fact, Zambia is part of the Gambling Regulators of Africa Forum (GRAF) which discusses gambling policies and it is one country that is benefiting from the revenue that comes with betting.

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