Overview of Sports Betting in Burkina Faso

Overview of Sports Betting in Burkina Faso

Gambling in Burkina Faso has a unique status compared to other countries in the region. Some key aspects include:

  • Legalization of most forms of gambling since the country’s independence in 1960
  • State monopoly on lotteries and sports betting through the LotĂ©rie National BurkinabĂ©
  • Recent legalization of casinos and slot machines for private companies (2014)
  • Lack of regulation around online gambling, allowing Burkinabe players to access offshore sites
  • Very few physical gambling venues concentrated mostly in the capital city
  • Recent instability and military conflict disrupting the gambling industry
  • Openness to licensing new gambling establishments that meet strict requirements
  • Low taxes on gambling revenue compared to other forms of business taxation

Burkina Faso’s Gambling History and Legislation

Gambling has technically been legal in Burkina Faso since the country gained independence from France in 1960. The key laws and developments shaping the gambling industry are outlined below:

Key Laws and Developments in Burkina Faso’s Gambling History

1960Independence from FranceInherited French colonial gambling laws allowing most forms of gambling
2008Passage of Gambling ActDefined framework for licensed gambling; state monopoly on lotteries/sports betting
2014Regulation of Slot Machines ActOpened door for licensed casinos/slot halls run by private companies
2016-presentMilitary conflict and coupPolitical instability disrupted gambling sector, forcing closures

This table summarizes the critical legislative and national developments that set the boundaries for Burkina Faso’s unusual gambling environment over the past 60+ years since independence.

The 2008 Gambling Act remains the central gambling law, while the 2014 Regulation of Slot Machines Act opened opportunities in the casino/gaming machine industry. Recent conflict has negatively impacted operations.

The Unique Aspects of Burkina Faso’s Gambling Scene

Overview of Sports Betting in Burkina Faso

There are several distinctive characteristics that make gambling in Burkina Faso unlike other countries:

  • One of the only Muslim-majority countries to allow extensive legal gambling
  • National lottery holds monopoly on most gambling, unlike privatized models elsewhere
  • Recent legalization of casinos/slot halls operated by private companies
  • Lack of enforcement around offshore online gambling sites
  • Very few physical gambling venues for the country’s size
  • Recent conflict/instability heavily impacted gambling sector
  • Openness to licensing major new gambling projects despite other obstacles
  • Very small tourism industry limits casino development opportunities

The combination of a state monopoly on most gambling, legality of private casinos/slot halls, lack of online gambling enforcement, and other factors contribute to the unique nature of Burkina Faso’s gambling environment compared to regional and religious peers. The situation remains in flux due to recent instability.

Online Gambling in Burkina Faso: Legal Status and Player Options

The online gambling situation in Burkina Faso is unusual. While internet gaming is not specifically prohibited, the lack of licenses means it exists in a legal gray area. However, offshore sites freely allow Burkinabe players with minimal restrictions.

Despite no regulated online options, Burkina Faso residents can play at licensed international online casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites with reputable operations. The government does not currently block payments or restrict access to these operators. Players should still exercise caution in selecting trustworthy establishments that pay out winnings reliably.

With less than 20% internet penetration, limited technological infrastructure is the main obstacle for Burkinabe players. However, those with access face no imminent legal risks for playing at global online gambling destinations. The lack of enforcement essentially enables an open unregulated market accessed through third-party sites.

The State of Casino and Slot Hall Gambling in Burkina Faso

Despite the 2014 legalization of casinos and slot halls, physical gambling venues remain limited in Burkina Faso:

  • Estimated 20 slot halls/casinos nationwide for 21.5 million residents
  • Vast majority located in capital city Ouagadougou
  • Few total gaming machines given population size
  • Recent conflict caused closures of some establishments
  • Handful of small low-quality venues comprising sector
  • Not a significant driver of tourism due to limited options
  • Some optimism around licensing deals for major new projects

While private casino and slot machine operators can now legally operate, the realities of poor infrastructure, instability, low disposable incomes and little tourism hamper growth of physical gambling locations. However, all these venues are currently concentrated in the capital region.

The Impact of Recent Developments on Burkina Faso’s Gambling Industry

In recent years, Burkina Faso’s gambling industry has been negatively impacted by both global and domestic factors:

The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a major economic blow to the already struggling nation and its limited gambling sector. Lockdowns and mobility restrictions disrupted casino and slot hall operations while cutting tourism to near zero during 2020-2021. This exacerbated the downward trends.

More critically, a domestic political crisis and military conflict has raged since 2016. The resultant instability contributed to shutdowns of existing gambling establishments across Burkina Faso. This political tension shows little sign of immediate resolution.

Combined with the country’s position as one of the poorest in the world, these recent developments reinforce a bleak short-term outlook for gambling industry growth. However, the baseline legalization still differentiates settings from regional neighbors. Resolution of domestic conflicts could enable fresh licensing deals that capitalize on the market openness, but the underlying economic hurdles temper expectations of a major expansion comparable to leading global gambling jurisdictions.

Gambling Laws for Tourists in Burkina Faso

Unlike for citizens, there are essentially no gambling laws restricting tourists in Burkina Faso. The following summarizes the situation:

Gambling Laws Applicable to Tourists in Burkina Faso

Type of GamblerDescriptionBurkina Faso Laws
CitizensSubject to all gambling laws and restrictionsProhibited from unlicensed options
Foreign TouristsTypically not subject to domestic gambling lawsAllowed in licensed locals venues
ExpatriatesNormally follow tourist lawsNo enforcement on unlicensed gambling
Undocumented MigrantsDepends on severity of illegal statusTend to have free rein

In summary, non-citizens including visitors on holiday, long-term expat residents, and undocumented migrants appear exempt from gambling policies made for Burkinabe nationals. Tourists can freely use licensed gambling options without legal risks. For anything unregulated, the minimal enforcement climate allows essentially unfettered access for guests whether legally or illegally present in Burkina Faso.

Licensing Procedures for Gambling Establishments in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has a structured licensing system for prospective gambling operators to follow:

  • Must register a local company with necessary capital
  • Owners and staff cannot have criminal records
  • Various documents must be submitted to the Finance Ministry
  • Market analysis and 5-year business plans required
  • License fees from $1500 to $8000 depending on type
  • Licenses valid for 5 years then must renew
  • Only casino, slot hall, sports betting, and lottery licenses available
  • All applications and communication must be in French

Aspiring entrants into Burkina Faso’s gambling industry face hurdles of instability, low disposable income, sparse infrastructure and more. But the pathway exists to acquire licenses for various gaming establishments on paper. Though major investments appear risky given wider challenges, the process itself seems attainable for well-prepared applicants suited to the market conditions.

Burkina Faso’s Gambling Taxation System Explained

Burkina Faso uses a two-tiered taxation system for gambling revenue:

Overview of Burkina Faso’s Gambling Tax Rates

Tax CategoryDescriptionTax Rate
General Gambling TaxLevied on gross gaming revenue15%
Corporate Income TaxApplied to net business profits27.5%


  • National lottery exempt from 15% general gambling tax
  • No taxes on player winnings

While the gambling tax represents a reduced business tax burden compared to normal corporate rates, the layering of two separate taxes still makes profitability challenging for operators. Gambling tax proceeds likely fund general budget priorities rather than specific programs. Players enjoy tax-free winnings.

The Status of Virtual Sports and Social Gambling in Burkina Faso

As an underdeveloped digital economy, various modern gambling formats remain completely unaddressed in Burkina Faso’s regulatory framework:

  • No rules or licensing system for virtual sports betting
  • No definition or allowances for social gambling
  • No legislation covering online simulated gaming
  • Unregulated status allows access through international sites
  • Technological limitations on availability for now
  • Potential growth market if infrastructure and connectivity improve

Overview of Bookmakers in Burkina Faso

Introduction: With the state lottery controlling sports betting, licensed private bookmakers do not operate in Burkina Faso currently. However, 1Win BF and other global online sites offer betting without restrictions:

DescriptionLand-Based OptionsOnline Options
State LotteryOperates retail betting shopsNo online platform
Private Local BookmakersNone licensed currentlyNone licensed
Offshore Online OperatorsNot applicableMany sites accept players (e.g. 1Win)

With limited sports betting activity across few outlets, the 1Win site provides a digital avenue for Burkinabe citizens and tourists alike. Its platform abides by sound practices for security, ease of payment and competitive betting lines and odds. 1Win serves as an introductory option in an otherwise extremely underdeveloped sports wagering sphere within Burkina Faso.