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Uganda – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Uganda is a country in Africa that borders Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo-Kinshasa, and Rwanda. The country has been independent of the United Kingdom since 1962. Its capital is Kampala and the major cities are Entebbe, Lira, Mbale, and Soroti. Uganda is known for its many wildlife parks. These parks consist largely of tropical rainforests and are the habitat of elephants, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes, hippos, and chimpanzees. Lake Victoria is located in the south of the country and is home to approximately 250 different species, including hippos. Due to the friendliness of the population and beautiful nature, it has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. Gambling is partially legal in the country but this about to change…
For now, you still have a decent amount of land-based casinos at your disposal in Uganda. As the stance of the government on gambling has changed in recent years, this might be a thing of the past very soon. We’ll go into more detail later on in this guide. Local casinos can mostly be found in Kampala. They are open to locals and foreign tourists. You should be aware that the legal age for gambling is 25 in Uganda and, therefore, much higher than in most countries.
When it comes to online gambling, the only locally regulated option is sports betting. But it is possible to play at foreign-based online casinos as many of them are accepting players from Uganda as well. Currently, the government is tolerating this, but we recommend keeping an eye out for future developments, just to be safe. Here are some other things to consider:
- Check the jurisdiction of the online casino
- Does the casino accept players from Uganda?
- Do you have access to the accepted payment methods?
- Is the casino properly licensed to ensure fair gaming?
- The minimum age for gambling in Uganda is 25
In order to find out more about the best international online casinos that accept players from Uganda, we recommend checking out our GoodLuckMate top lists and casino reviews.
Some forms of gambling used to be entirely legal in Uganda. This mainly includes the national lottery and sports betting. The Ugandan National Lotteries Board is the regulatory body for all gambling activities. Bookmakers could apply for betting licenses until 2019. The companies had to go through thorough background checks and had to put up a bond worth the equivalent of roughly €65,000. This sum was supposed to cover payments to the customers in case the betting operator shuts down its business. There are also several land-based casinos that are still operating legally.
However, in 2019, there was a big change. President Yoweri Museveni has directed the government to halt renewing or issuing licenses to any gaming companies. He made the following statement:
“Ugandan youth are trapped in a vicious cycle of betting, staking their little earnings while believing that they might win a jackpot in every stake. Religious leaders had also complained that online betting has reduced productivity among Uganda's youngsters, sinking families further into poverty.”
So far the situation is relatively unclear and leaves a lot of questions. There is not much information available on how long existing licenses will be valid. Furthermore, it is uncertain if this will affect land-based casinos in a similar fashion. So far local casinos seem to operate as per usual.
Currently, it is still possible to do online sports betting at locally licensed betting sites. Due to the announced halt to renew licenses, it is unclear how much longer this will be an option. All the remaining sites are fully localized for the local market. Languages like Swahili and Luganda are commonly supported.
As an alternative, players can also sign up for one of the international online casinos as the government does not actively investigate or ban such activities. Most Ugandans visit the English version of foreign-based websites. You can fully take advantage of international bonus offers and promotions.
Right now, it is still possible to play for Ugandan shilling at land-based casinos. It is also possible to place bets in the local currency at already licensed bookmakers. As previously stated, it is unclear how much longer these establishments are legally allowed to operate, so things might change in the near future.
Foreign-based online casinos do not accept Ugandan shilling for the most part. Usually, it is the best option to select US dollars or euros as your chosen currency when signing up for a new account. You can still make deposits and withdrawal with your regular credit card. However, please keep in mind that you will be charged a small currency conversion fee when doing so.
In spite of the recent annulments of the government, Uganda still has many licensed and fully operating casinos. Some of the licenses remain valid for a relatively long time. This means one can enjoy casino games for a little longer. If land-based casinos will be affected by the licensing halt is still unclear. Most of the popular casinos are situated in the Kampala area. The best options include the Casino Simba inside the Garden City Mall complex in Kampala, the Star Casino & Hotel Kampala, the Sunset Casino Kampala, the Mayfair Casino, and Club Kampala, the Kings Casino Kampala, the Venetian Casino & Bar Kampala, and the Nile View Casino in Jinja. As previously stated some local bookmakers are still operating online. International Online casinos that do accept players from Uganda are commonly regulated and located in Curaçao, Anjouan, and Costa Rica, for example.