Gambling is a popular pastime in Uganda, especially when it comes to sports betting. As land based casinos are inaccessible to most Ugandans, more players are turning to the Internet to try their luck on casino games like blackjack, roulette, poker and slot machines, but is this legal? We look at Uganda’s online gambling laws and find out where Ugandan’s can play real money online casino games at the safest casinos on the Web.
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About Uganda’s gambling laws
Gambling is legal in Uganda, although the industry is largely unregulated which has led to widespread problems with underground gambling in the country. Prior to 2013, the two major pieces of legislation covering gambling activities were the National Lotteries Act of 1967 and the Gaming and Pool Betting (Control & Taxation) Act of 1968. These two Acts recently merged together to form the Lotteries and Gambling Bill 2013, which led to the establishment of the National Lotteries and Gaming Board. The Board is attempting to gain greater control and provide stricter regulations over Uganda’s gambling activities but its attempts have been largely unsuccessful and the country continues to struggle to find a balance between enjoying the tax benefits of legalised gambling and combatting the social impacts of problem gambling.
Playing the lottery is legal in Uganda, with the state monopolised National Lottery established in 2004. The government has gone to great lengths to restore the reputation of Uganda’s lottery, which was previously considered to be a bit of a scam.
Land based casino gambling is allowed, but there are only a few brick and mortar casinos in Uganda, all in the capital city of Kampala. As frequenting casinos is considered an activity for the wealthy and Uganda is still considered to be a developing country, gambling in Kampala’s casinos is an activity that most Ugandan’s cannot afford, so it is nowhere near as popular as sports betting. Most Ugandan’s wanting to experience traditional casino games like slot machines, roulette, blackjack and poker must take to the Internet instead.
Is online gambling legal in Uganda?
Online gambling is legal in Uganda and the government issues online gambling licenses to operators within the country who abide by the Lotteries and Gaming Bill 2013. However, due to the widespread popularity of sports betting in Uganda, most of the licensed online gambling sites are bookmakers, and licensed Ugandan casino sites are difficult to come by. Most major offshore casino sites accept Ugandan players, so it is easy to find a safe and licensed international casino to play at.
As a developing country that continues to struggle with poverty, Internet usage rates are incredibly low in Uganda compared to the West, so online gambling has not yet become a big issue. Players with Internet access can continue to frequent offshore casinos with no legal issues and no penalties for doing so.
Best casino sites for Ugandan players
Given how loosely regulated the online gambling industry is in Uganda, many of the world’s best international online casinos happily accept Ugandan players. This is unlikely to change anytime soon unless the Ugandan government enforces stricter laws about offshore gambling, which remains quite low on the national agenda due to the relatively low Internet penetration rate.
For a full list of the top-rated casino sites accepting players from Uganda, refer to our casino table above. This table has been geo-targeted to recognise the location of the country you’re playing from and only recommend reputable casinos that cater to your region. You can use this table to read detailed reviews of each online casino to see what it has to offer, and sign up using our links to get access to exclusive welcome bonuses and promotions.
How to play for real money using UGX
As many offshore casinos gladly accept Ugandans, players should have no trouble making a deposit to play for real money. The Ugandan shilling (UGX) is not a commonly accepted payment method at online casinos, but that doesn’t mean players aren’t well catered for. If UGX is not an option, your funds will be converted into a more widely accepted currency like USD, EUR, GBP, AUD or CAD, which may incur some currency conversion fees.
The deposit methods available vary between each casino and country, so to see what Ugandan payment methods are available you can check the casino’s FAQ section or speak to a live chat operator. The most widely accepted payment options at online casinos typically include Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, ecoPayz, Entropay and direct bank transfers via Citadel Direct, Trustly or international bank wire.
All of our recommended online casinos are protected by a minimum of 128-Bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) digital encryption to ensure player safety at all times. To enjoy an extra layer of protection when gambling online, we also recommend the use of a trusted VPN (virtual private network) service for additional peace of mind.