Active players: 450.000
Currency: Botswana pula (BWP)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, casino games, lottery
Operator types: Non-licensed online sportsbooks and casinos, licensed land-based casinos
Designated authority: Botswana Gambling Authority
Status: Regulated (land-based gambling only)
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa with a rich history and culture. The country was annexed by Great Britain in 1885 and remained a colony until 1966. On the 30th of September of that year, the first general elections took place and marked the establishment of the Republic of Botswana. Football is the most popular sport in the country, both in terms of spectators and in terms of what punters are after when accessing betting sites in Botswana. Nijel Amos, the athlete that brought the first Olympic medal in the country, is one of the most popular sportsmen.
From a betting perspective, Botswana was quick to have laws to regulate the landscape. The Lotteries and Betting Act in 1966 was among the first betting laws in Africa. However, things got fully regulated in 2012 when the Gambling Act was passed. Online gambling is still not regulated and the rules set by the Gambling Authority only apply to land-based establishments. With no regulations towards online betting, punters in Botswana are free to use international bookmakers like 1xBet and Pinnacle.
Betting in Botswana - 5 things to know
- The legal gambling age in Botswana is 18
- You can find land-based casinos but no betting shops
- There's no specific law for online betting
- Once bookies get licensed, they shall pay a monthly tax of 6.5% on their GGR
- Internet penetration is rising, so does online bookmakers’ popularity
Best betting sites in Botswana
Since local punters are free to play at any international online bookmaker that accepts them, we selected the Botswana best bookmakers. They provide a wide range of football betting markets, competitive odds and the best offers.
Online betting in Botswana: The gambling law framework
The Botswana online betting environment isn’t regulated, despite having a law on gambling since 1966. At the moment, land-based casinos and lotteries are the only forms of licensed gambling operations in the country. However, the legislation is in place for betting operators as well, which should pay a 6.5% tax on their gross gaming revenue (GGR) as soon as they get licensed.
The 2012 Gambling Act, with the amendments from 2016, established the Botswana Gambling Authority as the governing body. It oversees all gambling-related activities, issues licenses and makes sure socially responsible guidelines are respected. Currently, there are no licensed international bookmakers, just like there are no local ones either. Nonetheless, the country is ready to issue licenses for betting shops, with a projected cost of 50.000 BWP. To sum things up, if you’re looking to bet, Botswana offers plenty of opportunities since there are no restrictions on accessing online sportsbooks.
Essential information for bettors
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.
How to deposit and withdraw at online bookies
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.
Complete list of bookmakers in Botswana
Among the most popular international bookmakers, 1xBet couldn’t miss out on offering its services to Botswana players. Great odds and various markets await you on the top sporting events worldwide.
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.
Betway is a well-known bookmaker, however, there have been many reports regarding seizing players’ accounts and resorting to the small print to avoid paying out bonuses. Therefore, we advise you to stick to more reputable bookmakers like 1xBet or Bettilt.
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.
With so many options, this is a hard question to answer. However, Bet365 stands out with the wide array of markets and promotions it offers, as well as with the live coverage of sports and events.
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.
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.