Gambling has increased in popularity in Zimbabwe in recent years, with the slow increase of Internet accessibility resulting in more players turning to online casinos for the chance to boost their income. But is online gambling legal in Zimbabwe? We look at Zimbabwe’s online gambling laws and explain where Zimbabwean players can play safely online for the chance to win real money.
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Is online gambling legal in Zimbabwe?
Gambling is a legal and regulated industry in Zimbabwe, with all gambling related activities governed by the laws of the Lotteries and Gaming Act 1998 which is overseen by the Lotteries and Gaming Board, a government department responsible for controlling Zimbabwe’s gambling industry. There are eight land based casinos in Zimbabwe, three of which are in the capital city of Harare, however most of these casinos are built for tourists and not often frequented by everyday Zimbabweans. Gambling and tourism have been major contributors to Zimbabwe’s economy, but the tourism industry is now feeling the brunt of the changing political climate under the rule of president Robert Mugabe, and the tourism industry is not what it once was.
With a struggling economy and high unemployment rates, it is not surprising more Zimbabweans are now trying their luck at gambling for the chance to overcome financial hardship. Sports betting and horse racing are becoming popular, as is the state-run lottery. Online gambling is growing, but given Zimbabwe’s low Internet penetration rates, this remains an unregulated industry. There are no restrictions on where Zimbabweans can gamble online, and no penalties for those who choose to do so. If Internet usage continues to grow, the government may open the online casino market in order to boost the country’s troubled economy, but unless that day comes Zimbabwean’s with Internet access are free to gamble for real money at any casino site accepting them.
Best casino sites for Zimbabwean players
As of early 2017, there are no online casinos with licensing from the Zimbabwean government, but there are plenty of offshore casinos happily accepting players from Zimbabwe. Offshore casinos are Internet gambling venues operating outside of Zimbabwe’s borders and run outside of local laws, while servicing players from multiple countries. Under Zimbabwean law, there is nothing to prevent or punish players from playing for real money at offshore casino sites, so Zimbabwean players have plenty of choices when choosing a Web-based venue to gamble at.
When choosing an offshore casino to sign up with, make sure it is licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction and verified by an independent third-party regulatory body like eCOGRA. Avoid any offshore casino not protected by at least 128-Bit SSL (secure socket layer) digital encryption security, and choose sites offering a large variety of games from leading software developers like Microgaming, NetEnt, BetSoft, iSoftBet, Quickspin, Evolution Gaming, Ezugi, NextGen, Felt Gaming and others.
The easiest way to ensure you are playing at a safe, licensed and reputable online casino is to stick with the gaming sites recommended here at OnlineCasinoWebsites.com. Our table of top-rated casinos above has been geo-targeted to recognise your location and only recommend safe casino sites accepting players from your country. Use our casino table to read detailed reviews of what each casino has to offer, or sign up for an account using our links to gain access to some fabulous new player welcome bonuses.
How to play for real money using ZWD
The Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD) is not amongst the common currencies accepted by online casinos, but it does not mean you cannot play for real money. Players using ZWD can still deposit money using their local currency, but currency conversion fees will apply as funds are exchanged into a more widely accepted currency like USD, GBP, EUR, CAD or AUD.
To make a real money deposit, first you must choose a safe online casino to play at, like any of those recommended in our table above. Sign up for an account using our links to make sure you get access to our exclusive welcome bonuses, then head to the banking section to make your first real money deposit.
The payment methods available vary between each casino site, with different payment options available depending on which country you’re playing from. The most commonly accepted deposit methods at online casinos include Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, ecoPayz, EntroPay and direct bank transfers via services like Citadel Direct, Trustly or international bank wire. Whether those methods or any other payment options are available to players from Zimbabwe depends on the site you’re playing at – before you sign up for an online casino account, you should always check to see what deposit options are available to players from your country. You can find this information in the casino’s FAQ or help section, or you can speak directly to a customer service team member via live chat.