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Uganda Gambling

Ugandan Betting and Casino Information

By Reno Rollins

Gamblers wanting to bet in Uganda have more options now than before 2004, when a new law was enacted in response to changes in global gambling. Below is a full picture of Ugandan betting laws and casino operations. 

Geography of Uganda

The Republic of Uganda is situated in East Africa, bordered by Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital of the country is Kampala, and the most common currency is the Ugandan Shilling. English is the official language.

Uganda is divided into four regions: Western, Central, Eastern and Northern. These regions are further divided into 80 districts, and the districts are subdivided into sub-districts, counties, sub-counties, parishes and villages.

Uganda is also referred to as “The Pearl of Africa.”

Gambling Laws in Uganda

The Casino and Gaming Bill of 2004 helped to modernize the laws surrounding the gambling industry. Casinos are legal, and sports books are also present in the country. In addition, the lottery is also very popular in Kampala.

The minimum age to enter a casino is 18.

Casinos in Uganda

All casinos in Uganda can be found in the city of Kampala. As of this writing, there are three casinos in the city. Other casinos such as the Equatoria Hotel and the Sheraton Kampala Hotel have went out of business.

Casinos currently in operation include:- Casino Grande Uganda (Crested Towers, Kampala) This casino opened on April 15th, 2005. The casino was registered in July of 2003, but the opening was delayed due to a lack of gambling laws. Over 250 local citizens are employed by the casino.

- Casino Simba (Garden City Mall, Kampala) The largest casino in Uganda (16,684 square foot gaming space), it is also the only casino in the country which is part of the Pasha Gaming Casinos group. It reportedly cost $4 million to construct. 160 table games are available, as well as 20 table games. A bar is also available for the enjoyment of the customers. The casino had its grand opening on June 25th, 2007.

- Kampala Casino (Pan Africa House, 2nd Floor, Plot 2, Kimathi Avenue, Kampala) The minimum age to enter is 18, and an entry fee is charged. Gaming occurs from noon until 2am. Available games include slot machines, progressive slots, video poker, American roulette, blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, Let It Ride and Pontoon.

Both American and Ugandan currency is accepted, and a casual dress code is enforced. English is spoken in the casino. Private gaming areas are available, as well as lotteries, live bands and fashion shows.

Sports Betting in Uganda

Rugby, football (soccer) and cricket are especially popular in Uganda. Sports betting shops are available in Uganda, and bettors will often pack inside to watch the results of the aforementioned sports. Two of the most popular bookmakers are Sports Betting Africa, which was founded in May of 2003, and Great Bet Uganda Ltd., which started up in August of 2004.

And picking the correct games can be especially profitable in Uganda. In 2007, a resident named Emmanuel Khisa won 3,438,863 million Ugandan shillings by correctly predicting the outcome to 12 sports events taking place over a weekend.

Betting can be done for as little as 600 Ugandan shillings.

Lottery in Uganda

In April of 2003, it was announced that the Ugandan Lottery Company would begin operation in three months. Due to the bad reputation of lotteries, a great effort was placed into restoring public confidence. The official launch, however, would not come until November of 2004.

By 2004, instant scratch games were made available to customers. It was also reported that the National Lottery paid out over 70 million Ugandan shillings to winners after only three months in operation. A few months later, that number would rise to 100 million Ugandan shillings.

A trip to the capital city of Kampala will reveal lottery ticket vendors lining the streets, as this game is especially popular in the more densely populated areas.

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