Gambling in Zimbabwe
Gambling is legal in Zimbabwe and the country has one of the largest concentrations of casinos on the African continent. With tourism and gambling making up an essential part of the Zimbabwean economy, the government shows large interest in gambling establishments in the country. However, tourism has declined significantly in Zimbabwe in recent year, due to the political climate under Robert Mugabe’s rule, along with the Land Reform Act of 1999 and economic sanctions by the US.
At present, Zimbabwe has four cities with gambling establishments, and a total of eight legal gambling facilities in total. Its capital Harare is the largest gambling center of the country, with most of the country’s casino distribution being scattered about near the city.
Sports betting is also heating up in Zimbabwe, since the launch of the Zimbet sports betting service. Horse racing is big, but more and more Zimbabweans are partaking in bets on the local premier league soccer matches and English premiership games.
There is also a state lottery run by Zimbabwe State Lotteries.
Online Gambling in Zimbabwe
Since internet penetration is low in Zimbabwe, online gambling has not taken off in the country.
There has been a rapid increase in the ICT infrastructure in the country, with huge leaps from 0.4% of internet users in 2000 to 15.7% in 2011. However since the country’s economy is currently suffering, the ICT sector has slowed down, although recent reports place the current internet penetration at around 35%.
Even though there are no online gambling sites based in Zimbabwe, since internet penetration is solow and those with internet access mostly use it for email only, this means that there are no restrictions in the access of foreign sites. The government’s efforts to control the internet mostly extend to email monitoring, since the Zimbabwean government prefer to crack down on any dissent via email.
So those who have access to the internet can access foreign online gambling sites without any issue.