Online Casinos in Tanzania: Are They Legal or Not?

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Are Online Casinos Legal In Tanzania?

Gambling is a controversial subject across many places in the world. Therefore, there have always been questions regarding the legality of the subject. If you live in Tanzania, you might wonder whether gambling is allowed or whether casinos are legal in the country. Well, we’ve got some answers.

Tanzania is often referred to as one of the pioneer African countries to have a regulated online gambling industry. The country’s stance on gambling was made crystal clear in the 2003 Gaming Act, although it has been partly regulated by some other legislations way before. The Act practically identifies casinos and other gaming activities as legal and also institutes the  Gaming Board of Tanzania (GBT), which currently regulates gaming activities in the country. 

Casinos, particularly land-based ones, have always existed in Tanzania, as in many other countries worldwide. During these times, they were not branded as legal or unlawful but were seen as another typical activity in the country. Existing legislations, like the 1967 Pools and Lotteries Act, were not specific regarding casinos and gambling but did not condemn them either. However, as these activities began to gain more prominence, the government decided to clarify its legal position on the subject more clearly with the 2003 Gaming Act.

Overall, the clear fact is that online gambling and betting are not illegal in the nation as long as they are carried out under the appropriate regulations. 

That said, let us delve further into the legal landscape surrounding online casino in Tanzania.

Gambling and Casinos Legislations in Tanzania

Like in most nations of the world, gambling had always existed in Tanzania, even before formal betting stations or land-based casinos were established. However, the first recorded legislation related to these activities was under the 1967 Pools and Lotteries Act, enacted in 1974.

Other subsequent related legislations included the 1992 Investment Promotion and Protection Act and the Tanzania Investment Act in 1997. These legislations did not, however, clearly state the law’s position on gambling or casinos, either online or land-based. Instead, they focused more on leisure and tourism-related investments, which partly included the Tanzania gambling sector. 

The 2003 Gaming Act of Tanzania was the first legislation that concisely addressed the subject of gambling and casinos in the country. A supervisory board, The Gaming Board of Tanzania, was also established to oversee the various activities in the gambling industry. Some of their duties included issuing licenses to bookmakers and enforcing tax laws. In 2013, the first licensed online gambling site started operating in Tanzania, followed by others.

The Gaming Board of Tanzania (GBT)

The Gaming Board of Tanzania is the body currently responsible for enforcing all policies and legislations on gaming activities in the country. They aim to promote, oversee, monitor, and regulate the Tanzania gaming sector to safeguard the general public and provide long-term social and economic benefits by implementing best practices.  

The board operates under the 2003 Gaming Act, which is specific for any game played with dice, card, or any mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic device for anything of a monetary value. This broad definition of gaming activities as specified in the gaming act includes online and land-based casinos; therefore, they are regulated under the Act. 

The primary role of the GBT is licensing gaming entities in the country, including sportsbooks, casinos, and any other gaming house, whether online or land-based. Therefore, conducting any gaming activity specified by the Gaming Act without obtaining a license is considered illegal. Individuals caught involved in such illegal activities are charged with a fine of up to 500,000 Tanzanian Shillings or a prison sentence of not more than 12 months. In some cases, such individuals can be charged with both penalties.

However, it is important to state that no law in Tanzania is against its citizens carrying out gambling activities on offshore websites operating outside the country. Several offshore online gambling sites open their doors to Tanzania players and allow them to bet with Tanzania Shillings without any risk of going against the law.

GBT Licenses

There are about 14 different licenses that are usually issued by the GBT depending on the kind of gaming services to be run. One of the licenses that can be obtained is the casino license, which is divided into the following categories:

  • Casino license to operate table games and slot machines.
  • Online casino license for running casino games via remote devices connected to the internet.
  • Principal license for sports betting and slot machine operations.
  • License to provide, maintain, and sell gaming equipment.

They also issue a range of licenses that covers other gaming activities, including the Internet sports betting license, sports betting terminal license, etc. Operators applying for any or all of these licenses must meet some requirements. Some general requirements to be met include the following:

  • Must not have had any of their licenses rejected, suspended, or revoked. 
  • Should never have withdrawn a licensing application in Tanzania or elsewhere.
  • Has never been denied a gaming license by the GBT or any other jurisdiction.
  • Has not been convicted of any criminal offense involving fraud or dishonesty.
  • Has proof of sufficient financing available to meet all obligations and to finance the gaming activities.

The GBT will also perform background checks and verification processes on sources of finances to be utilized in operation, among other things. Gaming taxes must also be paid to the Tanzania Revenue Authority by licensed operators or online casinos. 


The Gaming Act of 2003 legalizes and regulates online casinos and other gaming activities in Tanzania. The Gaming Board of Tanzania also acts under this legislation to enforce its rules and promote, oversee, monitor, and regulate all gaming activities, including online casinos, in the country. Visit a reliable and legitimate site like Parimatch to wager on any game of your choice in Tanzania.


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