Active players: 1.000.000
Currency: Leone (SLL)
Regulated gambling products: Casino games, lotteries, sports betting
Operator types: State-run lottery, casinos, one licensed local bookie, unlicensed online bookies & casinos
Designated authority: No respective authority
The Republic of Sierra Leone, or Salone, is a country in west Africa, next to Liberia and Guinea. It had been a colony since the early 1800’s, until it gained its independence from the UK in 1961. Unfortunately, the country fell into a long civil war from 1991 up to 2002 and its consequences are still rocking the country’s economy. Sierra Leoneans love sports and Madieu Williams is probably the most popular local athlete; a former NFL player, who starred for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings.
In terms of gambling, locals seem to moderately enjoy it. Also, gambling is legal in all its forms. With no specific authority overseeing it, there is apparently no law framework to regulate the online sector either. The only exception is online betting in Sierra Leone, with the domestic operator Mercury Bet having a license to offer its services to local bettors. However, the vast majority of international bookies also offer their services to locals and since there are no laws preventing betting on foreign operators in Sierra Leone; players are free to opt for any bookmaker they like.
Betting in Sierra Leone - 5 things to know
- There are a few casinos in the capital city of Freetown
- No gambling authority is in place
- All forms of gambling are considered to be legal
- Only one local company holds an online betting license
- The country has one of the lowest internet penetration percentages
Best betting sites in Sierra Leone
Local bettors are free to join any bookmaker they wish. So, we list the ones that stand out, offering a wide variety of betting markets on football and every major sport one wishes to bet on.
Gambling in Sierra Leone: The law framework
The Sierra Leone gambling situation today is not a complex one. The land-based sector lies upon old and vastly outdated laws & regulations. The basic one is the 1959 Lotteries Ordinance, still being the cornerstone of Sierra Leone gambling laws. It doesn’t forbid any form of gambling, leaving plenty of freedom to local players. Regarding online gambling, most of it falls under no regulation; the only exception is online sports betting. Mercury International, running under a license issued by the Ministry of Finance, is the only licensed online bookmaker in Sierra Leone operating since 2007. Along with the state lottery, they are the two sole providers of online betting in the country; still, there is absolutely no law reference on international operators.
As a result of all that, if someone wants to bet online in Sierra Leone, it’s pretty easy to do it. With just the Ministry of Finance overseeing procedures, all forms of gambling are considered legal; including lotteries, land-based casinos, betting shops and online gambling. Moreover, there are no reports of prosecuting online gamblers. The government is really passive towards it, even in the absence of a law framework. So, there is no fear whatsoever in picking any of the Sierra Leone bookmakers we list in our analysis; make your choice and just bet on.
Despite not being locally licensed, players shall not face any problems when betting at international bookies. Authorities will neither block access to international operators, in any way, nor prosecute players. Bookmaker shops can be found in the capital city of Freetown. However, they provide a very short range of betting; compared to international Sierra Leone betting sites. Moreover, there are reports of dodgy local betting sites with very low -if any- security standards. Therefore, you should only opt for bookmakers that you will find in our analysis. These are all reputable ones and it is our guarantee that you will experience a safe betting ‘journey’.
Generally speaking, the authorities do not forbid and will not try to block bank wires or the use of credit cards. In one’s quest to place a bet, Sierra Leone offers quite a few online payment options. Africell is a common way you’re probably already familiar with; however, it is mainly used locally. E-wallets are always a good choice. Their speedy and reliable transactions help them stand out in the ever-changing digital world and to the players’ interest; huge brands like ecoPayz are accepting local sign-ups. Skrill and Neteller on the other hand are currently not offering their services in the country. Lastly, to curb any currency conversion worries; some international bookies in Sierra Leone also allow local currency betting.
Players are practically free to access any online bookie that will accept them. There are no restrictions or sanctions against bettors or operators. That constitutes a welcoming Sierra Leone betting environment, to begin with. However, keep in mind that the country is still recovering from the consequences of the civil war. The economy is still very poor and people don’t have much buying power. Therefore, Sierra Leone doesn't pose a major gambling market. Things are slowly getting better, even at slow rates, showing some potential. Some reports indicate that, despite the hardships, there might be an upcoming gambling regulation after all. Time will eventually show how the Sierra Leone betting landscape is gonna shape up.
The complete list of bookmakers in Sierra Leone
After just having a thorough look at the local gambling scene, it's now time to list all betting sites Sierra Leone has on offer. They are all legitimate; so, just make your pick and remember to always check their welcome offers & bonuses.