HomeOpinion & AnalysisGambling in Zimbabwe 2021 - What's allowed and what's not

Gambling in Zimbabwe 2021 – What’s allowed and what’s not

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Zimbabwe boasts one of the highest rates of adult literacy in Africa and a population of around 14 million, making it a fantastic location for online gaming companies to offer their services. But is gambling allowed here? Find out the answer to this and related questions below!

Is gambling legal in Zimbabwe?

Any person over the age of 18 is legally allowed to gamble in Zimbabwe. The country is home to many casinos and betting shops where players enjoy table games and sports betting. An upward trend of locals betting on Premier League football has been recorded. You can frequently find punters enjoying a bet and watching the game in gambling houses and betting shops across the country.

The legality of online gambling is a little muddier. There are no laws that expressively state this online activity is illegal, but due to the outdated laws, there are also no laws to say it is banned either. Players can still enjoy online betting services by playing table games or choose from an ever-growing collection of online slots straight from their desktop or smartphone.

Online slot gambling has been especially popular over the last year in Zimbabwe due to casino and betting shop closures in response to social restrictions. Foreign-based online casinos are used frequently because the country relies on foreign fiat currencies like the US dollar, Euro, British Pound, Rupee and Yen.

How regulated are Zimbabwean gambling laws?

As mentioned, the country does have its own gaming laws, and it even has a Lotteries and Gambling Board to govern all betting activities in the nation. New laws and legislation are expected shortly, which will address the hole in laws relating to online gambling activities.

Are winnings taxed?

Zimbabwe does place a tax on the winnings, meaning the government does take some of your winnings. At the time of writing, the tax payable is 10%, while some casinos may withhold an additional 15% tax if the player wins the available jackpot. Thus, you pay more tax if you win really big. For this reason, it is unlikely that Zimbabwe will outlaw online gambling where there are many chances for players to win lucrative jackpots.

Many foreign tourists go to Zimbabwe casinos and bet bigger than locals who may be subject to smaller disposable income. These tourist activities and local tax laws make a sizeable revenue for the Zimbabwe tax office.

New increased license fees for Zimbabwe casinos

In 2021, the Government has increased the licence fees for casinos wishing to operate legally in the country. To pay for the process of verification, these businesses will need to cough up $250,000. This license will be granted on a permanent basis. Other gambling businesses may need to pay for different permits, typically costing $50,000.

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