Roll the Dice: A Comprehensive Guide to Gambling in Tanzania

OCR Editor. - April 16, 2023

Gambling in Tanzania: A Complete Overview of Its History, Regulation, Popular Games, and Famous Bettors.

Tanzania is a country located in East Africa with over 60 million people. The country has a diverse economy with industries ranging from agriculture to mining, but one industry that has been on the rise in recent years is the gambling industry. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of gambling in Tanzania, including its history, regulation, popular games, and famous betting-related stories.

History of Gambling in Tanzania

Gambling has a long and complicated history in Tanzania. The country was under British colonial rule until 1961, and gambling was heavily restricted during this time. However, after Tanzania gained independence, the government began to relax its laws around gambling, and by the 1990s, gambling had become a popular form of entertainment in the country.

In 1991, the government passed the Gaming Control Act, which established the Tanzania Gaming Board (TGB) and gave it the authority to regulate and oversee all forms of gambling in the country. The act also allowed for establishment of casinos, which had previously been illegal, and paved the way for developing a legal gambling industry in Tanzania.

Regulation of Gambling in Tanzania

Today, the Tanzania Gaming Board regulates all forms of gambling in the country. The board issues licenses to operators and ensures that they comply with all relevant laws and regulations. The TGB also has the authority to investigate and prosecute illegal gambling operations and works closely with law enforcement agencies to combat gambling-related crimes.

In addition to the Gaming Control Act, several other laws and regulations govern gambling in Tanzania. For example, the Gaming Tax Act requires operators to pay profit taxes. At the same time, the Gaming Regulations Act sets out specific rules and guidelines for the operation of various gambling establishments, such as casinos and sports betting shops.

Online Gambling in Tanzania

In recent years, online gambling has become increasingly popular in Tanzania. The government has recognized this trend and has taken steps to regulate the online gambling industry. In 2012, the TGB issued its first online gambling license to a company called Premier Betting, which operates a popular sports betting platform in the country.

Today, several online gambling platforms operate legally in Tanzania, including Premier Betting, M-Bet, and MeridianBet. These platforms offer various betting options, including sports betting, casino games, and lottery games.

Popular Gambling Games in Tanzania

There are several popular gambling games in Tanzania, ranging from traditional casino games to sports betting and lottery games. Here are some of the most popular gambling games in Tanzania:

  1. Sports Betting: Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling in Tanzania. Tanzanians are passionate about sports, particularly football, and many enjoy betting on their favorite teams and players.
  2. Slot Machines: Slot machines are a popular form of gambling in Tanzania, particularly in casinos. Players can place bets and spin the reels to win big payouts.
  3. Roulette: Roulette is a classic casino game that is popular in Tanzania. Players can bet on the outcome of a spinning wheel, with the potential to win big payouts.
  4. Blackjack: Blackjack is another popular casino game in Tanzania. Players try to beat the dealer by getting a hand closer to 21 without going over.
  5. Baccarat: Baccarat is a card game popular in Tanzania, particularly among high rollers. Players bet on the outcome of two hands – the banker's hand and the player's hand – to get a hand closer to nine.
  6. Bingo: Bingo is a popular game of chance in Tanzania, particularly among older adults. Players purchase cards with numbers on them, and a caller draws numbers at random. The first player to mark off a certain pattern of numbers on their card wins a prize.

Famous Bettors and Betting-Related Stories in Tanzania

While Tanzania may not be known for producing famous bettors, there are certainly some interesting betting-related stories from the country's history. One notable story involves the 2010 World Cup, which saw increased sports betting activity across Tanzania. Many Tanzanians bet on their favorite teams, some even taking out loans to fund their wagers. When Spain won the tournament, many Tanzanian sports bettors were left in debt, sparking concerns about the negative effects of gambling on the country's economy.

Another interesting story involves Ali Mufuruki, one of Tanzania's most successful businessmen, before his untimely death in 2019. Mufuruki was known for his love of horse racing and was an avid gambler. He once won significant money by betting on a horse considered a long shot, proving that sometimes, taking a risk can pay off.


Overall, gambling in Tanzania has a long and complicated history, but today, it is a popular form of entertainment enjoyed by many Tanzanians. With the government's regulation and oversight, the industry has developed into a diverse and thriving sector that includes everything from traditional casino games to online sports betting. While there have been concerns about the negative effects of gambling on the country's economy, the industry continues to grow and evolve, providing entertainment and potential income for many Tanzanians.

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