Gambia (sometimes called “The Gambia”) is located on the west coast of Africa and is the smallest country on the African continent. Its entire territory borders the Gambia River, which divides the country into a northern and a southern area. It is completely surrounded by Senegal, except for the western part of the country that borders the Atlantic Ocean. The official language is English, although other languages such as Mandingo, Pulaar, Wolof, Soninke, or Jola are also commonly spoken. It achieved independence from the United Kingdom in February 1965. Just recently, the stance of the government on gambling completely turned as, in 2015, gambling in the Gambia was made illegal. So, let’s look at how things stand nowadays…
International tourists have the opportunity to play at the Kololi Casino in Kololi, Serekunda. This is the only land-based option in the country. If you are a resident of the Gambia, you are out of luck, as locals are not allowed to play in land-based casinos. Generally speaking, gambling in online casinos is also prohibited but the legal situation is not entirely clear. Most international casino sites can be accessed freely, but we recommend using a VPN connection. In any case, you should be aware of the legal situation in the country and the risks involved. Currently, there are no official reports that the government is prosecuting citizens of the country that are playing online. We advise treading with caution and to be aware that you are playing at your own risk.
To find out more about the best international online casinos that accept players from the Gambia, we recommend checking out our GoodLuckMate top lists and casino reviews.
As previously mentioned gambling has been made completely illegal since March 2015 in the Republic of Gambia. Before the ban, gambling was fully legal and casino games like roulette, poker, blackjack, and baccarat, as well as sports betting, were widely available. As a result, many local casinos and bookies had to close their doors and shut down their businesses.
In theory, the ban also affects online casinos but there are no laws specifically banning online gambling explicitly. As a result of this, some international casino operators still accept players from the country. We are not aware of any instance of the government prosecuting players that are caught playing in foreign-based online casinos. Furthermore, this ban has been publicly challenged by many lawyers. They argue that, at the time, the president did not have the power to establish such a ban.
There is also a small exception for government-sponsored games but the exact details are unclear. According to reports, the national lottery is still running and, on top of that, there is exactly one land-based casino. However, this single casino is only open to international tourists. All proceeds of the casino and the national lottery are used to fund community projects.
In spite of the local gambling ban, many international online casinos are still open for players from the Gambia. Due to the current situation in the country and the hard stance of the government on gambling, almost all casino operators decided not to actively promote their services in The Gambia. Hence you can not expect any localized offers for Gambian players. You can still benefit from promotions designed for the international market, such as welcome offers and other deposit bonuses. You should be aware that Gambian players might not be eligible to receive such offers at all casinos.
Since English is the official language of the country, you won’t have any problems when it comes to the site language and customer support. Supported payment methods include credit cards, wire transfers, several eWallets, and sometimes even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Of course, the local Kololi Casino does accept Gambian dalasi. This is also the main currency on most of the tables. There are also some table games where you can play for US dollars. It is possible to exchange other currencies for Gambian dalasi at the casino’s cashier. The national lottery can also be played in the local currency. If you want to play online at one of the many international-only casinos, you will have to fall back to US dollars or euros as the Gambian dalasi is not supported at all – this means that you will be charged for conversions, too.
Right now the Kololi Casino in Kololi, Serekunda is the only land-based casino in the Gambia. The available games include roulette, blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, casino hold'em, baccarat, texas hold'em cash games, slot machines, video slots, and video poker. The quality of the facility is relatively high and players report that they’ve been very happy with the friendly and professional staff. There are also several dining options and an American bar attached to the casino. It is important to know that the casino is only open to international tourists. Local residents are not allowed to play here. Foreign online casinos that accept Gambian players are usually located and regulated in either Curaçao, Malta, or Kahnawake.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.