The State of Online Casinos in Malawi

Malawi is a country in Southeastern Africa that’s bordered by the nations of Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. It’s officially known as the Republic of Malawi and has an estimated population of around 19 million people. Its economy is heavily reliant on agriculture as it is a mostly rural country with a relatively high population density. Even though it’s one of the least-developed countries in the world, it’s still a nation that’s rife with culture. Several languages are used in the country and there is a myriad of religious customs and beliefs that its inhabitants espouse as well.

Malawi Flag Looping Background fluttering in the wind against a blue sky on a seamless loop.

Despite its economic challenges, the former British colony has a thriving gambling scene. It was in 1996 wherein Gambling was first legalized through the Gambling Act. The Gambling Regulations Act expanded upon the existing legislation and legalized the playing of the following games: roulette, craps, blackjack, baccarat, poker, punto banco, poker, and bingo. The main governing body of gambling activities in the nation is the Malawi Gaming Board. They have the mandate to authorize and regulate any game of chance.

The Country’s Gambling Laws

The Gambling Regulations Act covers the games that were previously mentioned in this article. But if any business in the country intends to offer any other type of gaming service, they would have to be granted special permission by the Malawi Gaming Board. That’s why sports betting establishments in Malawi have to be given a special gambling license on top of the regular license that is rewarded to gambling operators. Aside from that, lottery-style games like keno and scratch cards don’t fall under the Gambling Regulations Act of 1998. Establishments that seek to offer this kind of gambling service have to acquire a lottery license.

Relative to developed nations in the west, the gambling sector of Malawi is still in its infantile stages in large part due to the poverty issues of the country. But there are various efforts that have gone into further expanding the economic sector of gambling in Malawi.

Online Gambling in Malawi

There is a licensed gambling site in Malawi called Premier Bet, which means that online gambling is technically legal in the country. However, it’s worth noting that Premier Bet is only able to operate under the regulation of Malawi authorities because they also happen to be the figureheads of the national lottery. They are also the only entity in the country to have a Malawi lottery license.


The only way for an online gambling entity to operate in Malawi is to attain a regular gambling license. However, Malawi residents are still able to access offshore gambling sites like the ones found on Casinofy. That means that online gamblers in Malawi still have access to the top games and titles that are being offered on these sites, which may not be made available by Premier Bet. Even though there’s a good chance that no other online gambling operator will be granted a license to operate in Malawi, locals still have the opportunity to access international sites without restrictions. Foreign gambling sites are fully accessible and players can’t be prosecuted for indulging in games and bets on these sites. However, it’s worth noting that this is technically illegal under the law. But no Malawi resident has ever been prosecuted for playing on offshore gambling sites.

Despite the fact that Malawi is relatively lax on online gambling, it’s also worth mentioning that the internet penetration of Malawi is relatively low. Only 20% of Malawi residents have consistent access to the Internet.

Numerous Licenses

The 2015 Gaming Amendment Regulations Act expanded upon the previous 1998 legislation in order to further streamline the licensing protocols of the country. There are a number of licenses that one can acquire from the Malawi Gaming Board:

  • casino license;
  • gaming machine operator license;
  • gaming machine site license;
  • bingo operator license;
  • junket agent license;
  • manufacturer license;
  • maintenance license;
  • supplier license;
  • wide area progressive gaming license.

This is all according to article 2 of the 2015 Gaming Amendment Regulations Act. Furthermore, the National Lottery Board is responsible for regulating and licensing lottery and sports betting activities in the country. To this day, only Premier Bet has managed to secure such a license.

There are numerous economic hurdles that the country is facing at the moment, and this can dramatically impact the progress of the online gambling sector.

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