Navigating the Legal Landscape: The Status of Online Gambling in Uganda

What you need to know:

Online gambling has enjoyed extensive popularity over the past decades. In a world littered with entertainment choices, the thrill of online gambling has increased its pull by reaching a vast number of audiences. With several countries embracing the fast-moving online gambling trend, the pearl of Africa has also tapped into the resources the online casino industry has to offer.

Online gambling is legal and a potential winning route in Uganda. 

The establishment of the Lottery and Gaming Bill of 2016 caters to all gambling-related operations in the country. The main regulatory body that monitors all gambling operations is the National Gaming Board Uganda (NGBU). There are provisions for players and gambling operators to function properly and effectively.

The Legal Framework for Gambling in Uganda

The online gambling community in Uganda has experienced massive improvement in the past decade. Gambling constitutions in Uganda were reformed with the National Lottery and Gaming Act in 2016. According to Onlinecasinos365.net.nz specialists, the amendment through the Gaming Act does not clearly permit or prohibit online gambling – which draws a vague line for players and operators. “While the Act established a licensing regime for land-based gambling, remote betting was not fully addressed” note the experts.

The parliament passed an amendment bill to the Gaming Act in 2016 that increased the tax from 20% to 30%, which came into effect on the 1st of July, 2023. Gambling legislation varies in East African Countries. However, this increment came under resistance from the Ugandan public but has since improved. While nations such as Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania have a regulated gambling framework paying its dividends in higher revenue, others have a partial framework or a complete ban on gambling operations.

Licensing and Regulation - What Should You Know

Under section 4 of the Lottery and Gaming Act of 2016, the NGBU is in charge of taxation, licensing, promoting, supervising, auditing, and enforcing rules and regulations on all gambling-related operations in Uganda.

Online casinos licenses are not strict, but following all procedures is important for a successful application. Uganda has a regulatory framework monitored by the Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board (LGRB). An application for a licence made to the Board has some requirements. Some of these are;

 General requirements for application

The LGRB provides a list of essential documents to submit during the application process, which are;


  • Proof of Incorporation
  • Investment certificate for Foreign applicants
  • Proof of physical location
  • Recent Annual forms of returns of a company with share capital
  • Bank account details
  • Most recent Audited books of Accounts
  • Licence fees
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Security guarantee
  • Business plan
  • Rules and description of games and equipment
  • Details of company shareholders, directors, and key employees
  • Application licence fee for new applicants
  • Memorandum and articles of association

The overall licensing process has been simplified and one can consult the LGRB website for more information on how to apply for a gaming licence to operate Uganda successfully. The approval of the licence is not the end of the road as the LGRB regularly checks to ascertain if the establishment complies with the rules and regulations in Uganda. 

Player Protection and Legal Rights

A significant reason to regulate a country's industry is to protect players’ interests and rights. Uganda has established regulations to protect players and guarantee a fair gambling experience. The responsibility of the LGRB goes beyond licensing. Making gambling safe in Uganda is the core responsibility of the board. Measures have been put in place by the LGRB to prioritise players' safety and casino operators take a more accountable approach towards sports betting in Uganda.

Furthermore, in terms of data protection, casino operators have to meet various criteria put in place by the LGRB. The minimum age requirement for gambling is 25 years and for tighter age verification, the National Central Electronic Monitoring System was introduced to impose a minimum age and eradicate underage gambling. Also, support systems across Uganda ensure prevention messages, dispute settlement, and strong referral paths are available for a non-harmful gaming environment.


Gambling in Uganda - Challenges and Controversies

Like every other nation of the world, gambling in Uganda faces its issues. The growing fame of online gambling is also lacking and comes with a fair share of concerns. Despite different research sources documenting the risks associated with online gambling, these concerns never seem to go away. Some of the challenges facing gambling in Uganda include;


  • Technology: In recent years, Uganda has a low rate of internet penetration and usage with most gambling activities conducted in land-based casinos. The Ugandan online gambling market looks less desirable than its African counterparts due to the low internet usage of residents.
  • Regulation: with the rapid growth of online gambling, enforcing laws and regulations on betting operators can be a hard task. Access to responsible gaming, age restrictions and verification, regulation of online gambling, and support systems remains a challenge.
  • International Websites: the influx of foreign ownership into the Ugandan gambling sector also poses a threat to the growth of the gambling industry. Limited local benefits and exportation of lottery and gambling income by international investors from the Uganda economy is regarded as an issue.


While illegal gambling traps people in addiction, unpaid government tax, and fuels crime in the community – the government is taking all available measures to combat the issues. In January 2019, President Museveni ordered that no sports betting company should be given licenses and that all existing licences should not be renewed in a bid to curb gambling challenges in Uganda.

 Currently, the LGRB conducts periodic spot checks across Uganda to identify and eradicate illegal gambling activities.


The Future of Online Gambling in Uganda

In the future, general access to smartphones and the Internet will be the most critical factors behind the rise of online gambling in Uganda.


Also, the inflow of international ownership and online gambling operators will result in more availability of to the people. If Western influence continues, the Ugandan public will have more access to the internet.


Speaking of what the future holds for online gambling in Uganda, the introduction of mobile payments will greatly modify the Ugandan online gambling sector. With more payment options such as e-wallets, banking options for gambling operations will be significantly improved.


While other African nations embrace emerging technologies, Uganda is doing the same. These technologies are some of the determinants of a successful online gambling future for Uganda and the government is open to joining the trend.

Players Should Choose Licensed Online Casinos


The gambling industry in Uganda is regulated, but it is important to understand the sector's legal landscape. The Ugandan government through the LGRB has provided operators and players with the needed information on how to go about their gambling activities which must be obeyed. It is advisable to play at licensed casinos so as to be protected by the laws put in place by seasoned professionals.