Malawi has largely remained one of the best-kept secrets in Africa, despite its spectacular highlands and incredible lakes. While it remains as one of the most under-developed countries on earth, there is still much to be said about its potential, not least in terms of its sports betting and gambling industry.
Betting and gambling have been legal activities in Malawi since the African 1996 Gaming Act was introduced. The Malawi Gaming Board was established in response to this, and this is the body which decides on whether licenses get approved. It is also responsible for overseeing gambling operations as a whole within Malawi’s borders.
Land-Based vs Online Betting
Brick-and-mortar establishments in this country are limited to just three licensed casinos and Premier Betting, the only land-based bookmaker operating legally. This brand opened its doors as a licensed sportsbook in 2015, giving sports fans a recourse to wagering lawfully since then.
At the time of writing, there is no regulated online betting sector operating in Malawi. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this means that online casino gameplay and betting isn’t possible, however.
Many platforms support Malawians and even welcome them, most of which can be found via the Nostrabet site. Thanks to the strict reviewing process this operator puts sites through, players and bettors need not worry they’ll be taken advantage of.
Nostrabet experts thoroughly investigate a huge number of online bookmakers and then review them. They post the conclusions they come to in full, and in an unbiased way, at the site, which lets you make up your own mind. This process ensures that bettors can make a knowledgeable decision before they put any money down.
A Range of Gambling Options
Lilongwe is not just the capital of Malawi, it’s also the country’s centre when it comes to real money entertainment. There are three casinos situated in the city which give visitors the chance to enjoy roughly 30 different table games and 100+ slots and Video Poker titles. Pirate’s Casino is the biggest, but all three venues have Poker available for their patrons to take part in. But, naturally, there’s nothing stopping people from playing all these games online, either.
Malawian citizens seem to prefer the National Lottery, however, with roughly 15 million participating in it regularly. The sole legal operator for this entity is Gidani International Limited and this business has been in charge since it first acquired its license to do so back in 2015.
The Issue of Regulation
The problem with an unregulated online gambling market is that players are free to sign up for real money accounts and then play and bet from bookmakers, casinos, and Poker rooms located offshore. And this means that the Malawian economy receives no benefit from the activity.
Many of these international operators incentivise sign-ups by offering incredible Bonuses to welcome new players and other rewards for those returning. Inland brands are struggling to compete in this regard, so the government remains unable to tax the platforms Malawians are playing from.
But until the Malawi Gaming Board is granted additional powers by the government, the chance of this industry being regulated is zero. The process will necessarily be a complex one. It needs to account for a range of different factors, and the government’s willingness to tackle this task remains to be seen.
The upside is that the Malawian gambling industry in its infancy, so there’s plenty of scope for it to be expanded in the near future.