Active players: 2.500.000
Currency: Malawian Kwacha (MWK)
Regulated gambling products: Land-based casino games, lotteries, sports betting
Operator types: State-run lottery, casinos, one licensed local bookie, unlicensed online bookies & casinos
Designated authority: Malawi Gaming Board
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa. It is bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique and is home to many different ethnic groups; mainly the Chewa and the Lomwe. As is the case with many African nations, it was once a colony of the British Empire. Its independence from the United Kingdom came in 1964, forming a republic later, in 1966. Locals are keen sports fans, with football and netball being the most popular ones.
The Malawi Gaming Board and Lotteries Authority (MAGLA) regulates all procedures around gambling. It has been in place since 1996 when the Gaming Act was voted. As for betting, Malawi deems it legal; yet, it does not have a legal framework to regulate it online. Plus, only one local bookie, Premier Bet, is licensed to operate online. Moreover, international bookies are offering their services to locals, without breaking any law. So, a growing number of Malawian bettors are opting for them.
Betting in Malawi - 5 things to know
- All forms of gambling are legal
- The legal gambling age is 18
- There are bookies & casinos in the capital city of Lilongwe
- Only one online betting license has been given so far
- The online gambling sector falls under no distinctive regulation
Best betting sites in Malawi
Below we list the online bookies that stand out in Malawi, offering a great coverage of all major sports, along with a wide variety of special bets and ongoing offers for you to pick.
Online betting in Malawi: The law framework
The Malawi gambling law is quite straightforward. The first -and still in effect- legislation was put in place in 1996 when the respective board -MAGLA- set off its operations. The Gaming Act is the law regulating all forms of land-based gambling. No changes or updates have been made ever since, apart from some amendments in 2015.
There are however no references on online gambling, with the sector being vastly unregulated; yet, considered legal to partake. The Malawi online betting scene has only one local bookie to show for; Premier Bet, which has been operating since August 2015 and is taxed 12.5% on its GGR. No other online entities hold a local license. Neither casinos, nor bookmakers alike. Still, most international online bookmakers accept Malawians and by holding some of the most reputable licenses out there; they’re by far the better choice.
On the other hand, a Malawi betting license mechanism is still on. A ‘wide area progressive gaming’ license costs 500.000 kwacha, approximately 600 USD. That’s just for brick and mortar activities though. However, no form of gambling is illegal, including online. There are absolutely no restrictions or penalties for those who opt for Malawian online bookmakers. Altogether, the environment is really friendly regarding gambling, for both players and operators.
The key point to remember is that it is perfectly legal to bet online according to Malawi gambling regulations. Every single bookie you will find in our analysis, is licensed and legitimate. Stick to them, since your winnings deriving from Premier Bet are subject to 20% tax and the MAGLA doesn’t regulate the online sector. Therefore, there is no player protection from dodgy bookies. And while the online betting options are vast, so are the dubious sites that operate out there.
The authorities at the same time, neither block access to any operator, nor prosecute players. Bookmaker shops are available, mainly in the capital city of Lilongwe; still, their betting variety is very small in comparison to the one of their international counterparts. So, if you enjoy betting Malawi has many options to suit your needs. Just keep it safe by picking a bookie from the ones we list.
When placing a bet, Malawi players can freely use bank wires or credit cards. The internet usage is rather low; while bettors mainly use their smartphones for funding their accounts. EcoPayz is available in the country, along with its top-notch mobile apps. Neteller and Skrill on the other hand, do not yet accept local registrations. Banks will not block any transactions to or from Malawi betting sites. Moreover, cryptocurrency trading is on the rise; since a growing number of locals are trying to familiarize themselves with it and use it. For starters though, just get to know the basics and keep in mind that the authorities will not ask for the source of your income at any point.
The country has made some steps towards a free and regulated gambling environment. Players are free to access any online bookie they want, with no restrictions applied by the authorities. And despite not yet being under a proper legal framework, gambling in Malawi is shaping up really well. Let’s don't forget that it’s still a developing economy. If things lead to the regulation of the online gambling sector, we will be updating our info too. A modest prediction is that sports betting in Malawi, while slowly developing, is only gonna get better for bettors; as well as for operators.
The complete list of bookmakers in Malawi
After looking at the insights of the local gambling scene; it’s now time to list all betting sites Malawi players can access. These are all legitimate, so all you need to do is make your choice.