Online casinos accepting players from Ethiopia
Famous for its high-quality coffee, Ethiopia s a landlocked country located in the Horn of Africa. Officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the country shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east and northeast, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west, and Sudan to the northwest.
According to the law, gambling is highly restricted but decently regulated. Online gambling is permitted, however, only one genre is available- sports betting. The country has its own regulatory authority, but it is mainly focused on versatile lottery products.
When it comes to player protection in Ethiopia, the situation is not the brightest one. The regulator is predominantly focused on the land-based sector, so those interested in testing their skills on the interactive betting platforms are mainly left on their own.
Laws and Regulations
As mentioned in the introductory part, the country has its own regulator called the National Lottery Administration (NLA). This institution is in charge of running the lottery and it is responsible for granting certificates for sports betting and other types of casino and bingo games. It is accountable to the Federal Government Ministry of Revenue.
Worth stressing is that the institution has had numerous ups and downs. Initially formed in 1961, the body was re-established in 1981, 2007, and 2009. Despite all the challenges, its focus remained the same- to fight illegal gambling and generate revenues for socioeconomic development.
In terms of permitted categories of land-based gambling, players can take part in lottery and sports betting. Interactive gambling is authorized as well, however, it is limited to sports betting. NLA itself operates 16 different lotteries, of which ten are passive paper lotteries and six are instant scratch lotteries.
The following taxes are applied- 15% gross win tax for lotteries and sports betting plus an additional 15 % withholding tax on lottery winnings over 1,000 Birr.
Looking at the industry from a wider perspective, one of the main reasons why the iGaming industry in Ethiopia is not flourishing certainly has to do with internet coverage itself. The stats from January 2022 reveal that the internet penetration rate amounted to 25% of the total population.
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Player Protection and Responsible Gambling Measures
As the industry is in development and has no institutions dedicated to monitoring the activities of operators that run businesses in Ethiopia, there’s no player protection either. If a problem comes up, players need to fight for justice all by themselves.
Although there’s no way to eliminate the issues 100%, there are ways to minimize the possibility for such unpleasant situations to occur. Pick casinos that have well-organized responsible gambling sections and lots of tools at the player’s disposal. Those include limits on deposits, losses and/or withdrawals, cool-off, and self-exclusion.
Also, pay attention to customer support and the available channels of communication- live chat, phone, and e-mail. Remember, the more the merrier. Ideally, the support department should be available 24/7 throughout the entire year, so that consumers from all time zones could have their questions answered.
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Payment Methods and Banking
The official currency of Ethiopia is called the Birr, or to be more precise the Second Birr. The First Birr was in circulation from 1800-1936. This currency was succeeded by Italian Lira, and then the East African shilling, after which the Second Birr “conquered the stage”. Birr is subdivided into 100 santim cents.
As no online casinos support the Second Birr as the available currency, players need to look for an alternative. The most popular options include EUR, USD, or GBP, as the number of operators accepting some of these (or even all three of them) is on the continuous rise.
Cryptocurrencies are gradually conquering the world, but not all countries and states are willing to embrace them just like that. At least not without some precise regulations.
The situation with crypto in Ethiopia is the least to say confusing. In June 2022 the local central bank issued a statement, noting that the transactions involving crypto are illegal. People were warned to avoid using them. Yet, less than three months later, the country changed its mind- from banning to regulating payment method.
A question poses itself- can people use it for gambling? Technically yes, but until their status is precisely defined and regulated, it all resembles a walk on thin ice.
Regardless of the method they prefer the most, players should do the following:
- Check the available payment options for deposits and/or withdrawals
- Analyze the minimum and maximum amounts for each type of transaction, along with the accompanying fees
- See if ID verification is needed and how long it takes for docs to be verified
If you are interested in claiming bonuses, there’s one more detail to pay attention to - restrictions for payment methods. Sometimes an operator decides that certain methods cannot trigger a promotional offer, so take a look at the Bonus Terms before claiming it.
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What Should Players from Ethiopia Pay Attention to When Selecting a Casino?
So far, we’ve given you a couple of handy tips on what each player must take into account when choosing an online casino. All things payments-related as well as customer support and responsible gambling sections are some of the crucial fields to examine, but there’s more.
Make sure to find out:
- What sort of games are featured in the lobby?
- How many providers are listed in the portfolio?
- Is the lobby well-structured and simple to browse?
- Can a player check out games in demo mode?
Also, don’t forget to look for the info related to bonuses and promotions. This includes wagering requirements, participating games, contribution percentages, cashout limits for winnings from bonuses, and so on. See if the operator has some sort of Rewards Plan.
Finally, transparent first-hand experiences are highly valued in this dynamic industry. Aside from inspecting each and every corner of an online casino by yourself, look for other players’ opinions. They like to leave their impressions, both positive and negative on forums and review platforms, so feel free to explore.
Always read the Terms and Conditions and gamble responsibly!
Is it legal to gamble online in Ethiopia?
Online gambling in Ethiopia is authorized, but it is limited to sports betting. On the other hand, people interested in playing other genres such as slots, table games, or live games can explore foreign online casinos which accept Ethiopian players.
Is demo play available in Ethiopia -friendly online casinos?
Players from Ethiopia can test games in demo mode. Worth clarifying is that some platforms require registration before allowing fun play, while others give this possibility to all visitors.
What kind of online casino bonuses can Ethiopian players claim?
The most popular bonuses in casinos that accept consumers from Ethiopia are welcome bonuses, no-deposit bonuses, and other offers with free spins and bonus cash.
Can players from Ethiopia gamble on mobile devices?
Mobile gambling is popular everywhere across the world, and Ethiopia is no exception. People enjoy launching their favorite games on small gadgets while out and about.
What are the most popular online casino games in Ethiopia?
Ethiopians mostly bet on sports or play lotteries, but those who visit foreign gambling sites also try their luck with bingo, poker, roulette, and slot games.
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