Before delving into the current legal status of online gambling in Rwanda, let’s take a peek into its history first. Rwanda is officially referred to as the Republic of Rwanda, and is situated in Central Africa, having other African countries like Burundi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania on its borders. It became a German colony in the year 1884, followed by Belgium occupation in the year 1916. A civil war broke out in Rwanda during the second half of 20th century, something that had a major impact on the entire nation, and where it stands today.
Studying its history, many might wonder how online casino gambling has been regulated and legalised in Rwanda. In fact, the government of Rwanda passed a detailed law regulating all kinds of casino gambling activities in 2011. Before that, the country didn’t have any explicit rules related to casino gambling operations. After that law was passed, Rwanda went ahead and established the Rwanda Gambling Board in 2013.
Online Gambling Laws in Rwanda
As for the gambling laws prevailing in the country right now, it’s mandatory for all casino establishments, including the ones operating online, to apply for and obtain a license from the Rwanda Gambling Board. That is the only way they can legally offer their services in the country. However, apparently, there aren’t any online casino operators who have applied for such a license, implying that there are no locally operated legal and licensed online casinos in Rwanda right now. The most likely reason behind this is the low penetration of Internet services in the country.
As per statistics, only 10% of the entire Rwandan population is connected to the Internet. As a result, the online casino market in the country is far less lucrative compared to other African nations. Regardless, just the existence of a solid legal framework for operating online casino businesses is a very good sign for both international and local investors who’d like to bank upon this opportunity.
As of now, the best way that Rwandan gamblers can play their favourite online casino games is by registering with and logging into international online casino portals. While the country heavily censors the content accessible on the Internet, such censorship is primarily targeted at only political content. Online casino services can be accessed and used without any constraints. This implies that local Rwandans can legally and freely play at international online casino portals, majority of which even welcome them with open hands. Many of them also offer tips to starting out online casino players, to help them get initiated into this exciting world!
Apart from online casino gambling, online sports betting and online lottery services also gained legality in the country in 2011. Talking specifically about online sports betting, there are several international online bookmakers offering their services in the country. In general, anyone who has the resources to access Internet in the country is allowed to go online and indulge in his/her favourite gambling medium.