The Evolution of Online Gambling in Zimbabwe

Online gambling is a controversial topic in Zimbabwe. Despite legal restrictions, internet betting sites and online casinos still attract many players eager to try their luck. With exciting welcome bonuses and a wide selection of games, it’s no wonder online gambling keeps growing in popularity across Zimbabwe.

Explore the Thrilling World of Sports Betting in Zimbabwe!

Embark on an exciting betting journey with our exclusive guides tailored for the dynamic Zimbabwean market:

Best Bookmakers
Premier Casino Sites
Exclusive Bonuses & Offers
Top Betting Mobile Apps

Ready to immerse yourself in Zimbabwean betting? Your adventure begins now!

Zimbabwe boasts some of the most dedicated sports enthusiasts globally, and the enthusiasm is infectious! Whether it’s the heart-pounding action of football, the rugged intensity of rugby, the strategic brilliance of cricket, or the fast-paced thrill of basketball – the betting possibilities are boundless across this dynamic nation. As your trusted advisors in Zimbabwean sports betting, we thoroughly assess top-notch bookmakers, unbeatable odds, and spotlight the can’t-miss events in this sports-loving country. Get ready for a betting experience like no other – where passion meets opportunity!

  • Unlock a 100% Welcome Bonus up to $250! Deposit $10 or more
  • Get 20% Online Deposit Bonus! Use Skrill, Neteller & more
  • Recover up to 20% of your weekly losses

A Brief History of Gambling Laws in Zimbabwe

Gambling laws in Zimbabwe have always been complex. Prior to 1927, gambling activities were completely unregulated. This led to an unchecked proliferation of betting in public spaces. However in 1927, the Gambling and Betting Act was passed which banned most forms of gambling across the country.

Things stayed this way until 1960 when Zimbabwe Gaming and Racing Control Board was set up after the country gained independence. This board was tasked with issuing licenses that allowed certain gambling activities like horseracing, casino games and lotteries to operate legally within Zimbabwe.

The National Gaming Board of Zimbabwe later took over in 1996. Under this regulator, legal gambling venues including Harare Sun Hotel Casino opened which brought in tax revenue for government.

Timeline of gambling laws in Zimbabwe

1927Gambling and Betting Act banned most gambling
1960Formation of Zimbabwe Gaming and Racing Control Board
1996Legal casinos open under National Gaming Board

Modern laws have increased restrictions greatly due to concerns over rampant problematic gambling and lack of regulatory oversight. The Lotteries and Gambling Act was passed in 2000 which now completely prohibits online casinos, sports betting, poker sites from legally operating in Zimbabwe. However these sites still attract players from the region.

The Gray Situation Around Online Sports Betting

Despite strict legal prohibitions on online gambling, internet sports betting sites have still emerged as an extremely popular pastime in Zimbabwe due to the growth of mobile betting apps and workarounds which bypass restrictions. It’s estimated over 1 million Zimbabweans regularly use international bookmaker websites like Betway, BetPawa and Bet365 that allow them to bet on European football leagues and other major sporting events around the world.

While Zimbabwean authorities have tried to curb access to these unregulated offshore websites, limited enforcement resources make it an impossible task. Bookmakers exploit loopholes allowing users from Zimbabwe to play anonymously via cryptocurrency payments or e-wallets. So even with unclear legal status, sports betting carries on widely through unofficial channels.

Under the Radar Online Casinos

Much like sports betting sites, online casino platforms occupy murky legal territory even while attracting large numbers of players. Offshore sites not based locally or holding Zimbabwe licenses frequently operate in the country knowing they represent an untapped market.

Popular online casinos provide bonuses in USD rather than restrictive Zimbabwe dollars to overcome financial volatility. Platforms utilize VPN workarounds and cryptocurrency methods which provide Zimbabwe residents with access despite facing complete prohibition under national law if discovered by authorities. But weak regulatory ability has fostered an environment for these unauthorized casinos to proliferate as legislation lags behind technological innovations.

Ongoing Debate Around Legalization

Recognizing that current laws have failed to stamp out illegal online betting, government officials continue heated debate whether legalizing gambling could benefit Zimbabwe by channeling new revenue to stimulate a stagnant economy and formalizing an industry operating underground without oversight. Other opponents argue opening the market could spur dangerous gambling addiction which poorer citizens can hardly afford.

But a new Gambling and Betting Control Bill sits under consideration which could establish regulations allowing licensed onshore sportsbooks, lotteries and online casinos to accept wagers from citizens legally. Only by keeping pace with modern technological trends can Zimbabwe hope to regulate internet gambling rather than leave it as the «wild west».


Zimbabwe faces an uphill battle curbing unauthorized online betting which finds customers despite prohibitions because individuals increasingly conduct activity anonymously using workarounds. Perhaps with more open debate, fair regulation can expand gambling access for those who responsibly enjoy it while protecting problem gamblers with safety controls built into law. But until updated legislation passes, sportsbooks and casinos occupy uncertainty. Players eager to risk money for entertainment and possible winnings will likely carry on undeterred either way.

Frequently Asked Questions

The first gambling legislation, the Gambling and Betting Act, was passed in 1927 in response to unchecked betting across Zimbabwe during the colonial era. This act banned most forms of gambling at the time.

Yes, under the Lotteries and Gambling Act of 2000, it is completely prohibited to use overseas-based internet sportsbooks, casinos and poker sites in Zimbabwe. However, many residents still access them through VPNs and cryptocurrency transactions.

The National Gaming Board of Zimbabwe currently formulates gambling laws and enforcement actions against illegal betting activities according to legislation passed down by parliament.

Maybe. Lawmakers continue fierce debate on a Gambling and Betting Control Bill that could establish a licensing framework enabling domestic internet sports betting and online casinos to operate legally under regulated conditions.

With restrictions on payments, most Zimbabwe gamblers use Skrill, PayPal, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies which allow anonymous deposits and withdrawals difficult for authorities to monitor.

Lotta Nyman
Lotta Nyman

Regulation and Responsible Gambling Expert and Editor at GuruBetting.