Online Gambling Rules and Regulations Across Zambia

Online gambling is a popular pastime across the world, providing entertainment and the chance to win big. As internet access has grown in Zambia, so has opportunities for Zambians to access online betting sites and casinos. However, the legal status of different forms of internet gambling has gone through changes over the years.

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The History of Gambling Laws in Zambia

Gambling activities have occurred in Zambia for decades, although regulation has evolved with technological shifts. Here is a brief history of gambling legislation:

  • Pre-1994: Gambling activities like lotteries and betting on horse racing existed but with no laws enacted.
  • 1994: The Lotteries Act legalized lottery and raffle games. The Zambia National Lottery launched the first lottery game.
  • 2012: The Gambling Act was passed, establishing the Gambling Board of Zambia to regulate casinos and betting. Online gambling was not addressed.
  • 2015 — 2016: Debate began on amendments to allow and tax online gambling like sportsbooks. No changes were made.
  • 2021: The 2021 Finance Act created a 40% tax on income for entities offering online casino gaming, betting, and gambling. This implicitly legalized licensed online gambling.
YearKey Gambling Legislation
1994Lotteries Act
2012Gambling Act
2021Finance Act taxes online gambling

So while in-person betting and lotteries have been explicitly legal for decades, only in recent years has Zambian law adapted to address internet gambling activities.

Laws on Online Sports Betting in Zambia

Online sports betting sites have surged in popularity in Zambia thanks to mobile betting apps and increased sports marketing. Under the 2021 Finance Act that taxes online gambling revenue, licensed online sportsbooks are legally authorized to offer betting services to Zambians.

To legally register as an online betting company in Zambia, sportsbooks are required to:

  • Obtain an online gambling license from the Gambling Board of Zambia
  • Pay initial licensing fees from 500,000 ZMW to 1 million ZMW
  • Pay annual license renewal fees
  • Comply with regulations around responsible gambling and consumer protection
  • Pay income taxes on revenue

Some of the popular licensed sports betting sites used by Zambians include:

  • Betway
  • SportyBet
  • BetPawa
  • 1XBet

These real money online betting sites allow Zambians to wager on popular sports like football, tennis, cricket, basketball and more. Users must register an account and deposit funds to place bets. Winners receive cash payouts directly into their accounts.

Laws Regarding Online Casinos in Zambia

While sports betting is now clearly defined as legal for licensed operators in Zambia, the law is more complex when it comes to online casinos.

The 2021 Finance Act taxes income from «online casino gaming,» but there is no clear licensing framework specifically for online casinos. Some companies may operate under sports betting licenses. Additionally, many foreign online casinos still accept players from Zambia in a legal grey area.

Despite this uncertainty, a few trends in Zambian online casino regulation include:

  • Requirement to obtain local gambling license
  • Eligibility limited primarily to sportsbook brands
  • 40% tax imposed on online casino gaming revenue
  • Most Zambian payment options restricted

Some online casinos that accept registrations from Zambian players include:

  • Jackpot City
  • Spin Casino
  • Royal Vegas

However, options for depositing and withdrawing Zambian Kwacha (ZMK) are limited due to ambiguity around licensing.

Despite gray areas in legislation, online casino and sports betting enthusiasm continues to grow in Zambia. As internet and mobile betting options expand, the government will likely clarify regulations and licensing procedures related to real money online gambling.


In summary, lottery games, in-person betting, and land-based casinos have operated legally with regulation in Zambia for many years. More recently, increased internet access led to growth in unregulated online sportsbooks and casinos accessing the Zambian market. Updated tax laws show implicit acceptance of licensed online gambling activities today.

While licensed online sportsbooks can now operate legally, online casino laws remain unclear without an established licensing process. For both betting sites and online casinos, future amendments will hopefully provide more regulatory structure as internet gambling continues evolving in Zambia.

Questions and Answers

Zambia passed its first gambling regulatory law, the Lotteries Act, in 1994 to legalize lottery and raffle games. Additional laws like the 2012 Gambling Act and 2021 Finance Act further addressed regulation of in-person and online betting.

There is no clear prohibition against Zambians using foreign online casinos, many of which still accept registrations from players located in Zambia. However, licensing and taxation rules for these offshore sites remain ambiguous.

Some of the top sports for online betting in Zambia include football, basketball, boxing, rugby, cricket, tennis, and volleyball. International sports like English Premier League football are also popular with Zambian punters.

No, despite unclear rules for online casinos, all land-based and online sportsbooks are required to obtain operating licenses from the Gambling Board of Zambia to legally accept bets and wagers from Zambian residents.

According to tax policies enacted in 2021, licensed online sportsbooks and internet casinos that generate gaming revenue from Zambians are subject to a 40% income tax rate.

Lotta Nyman
Lotta Nyman

Regulation and Responsible Gambling Expert and Editor at GuruBetting.