Africa, a continent awash in ecological and biological treasures and a wealth of hitherto untapped talent; you might think that such a place wouldn’t possess a shred of casino culture, but you’d be very wrong. African casinos do exist, and there are plenty of pleasures for gambling aficionados to experience across the entire breadth of the continent. Here’s an insight into Africa’s fledgling casino industry and the little known wonders within.
Firstly, you must understand that casinos are a relatively recent phenomenon in Africa and as a result the legal status of casinos and gambling is only just progressing out of the repressive and backward form of the past. Take South Africa, for example. If you were to have tried to set up or even participate in anything casino related as recently as 1994, one would be confronted with a lengthy prison sentence. Since the introduction of the 1996 and 2004 National Gambling Acts however, everyone can now wager to their hearts content, enjoying the thrills and excitement that millions regularly experience across the globe.
Despite this development though, online gambling is still illegal; try and log on to a site such as Gaming Club and you might find yourself on rather thin ice! Such a story is common across swathes of Africa, so be careful before you book and always do the research!
Now we’ve got the boring legals out of the way, where can you visit that’ll allow you to get the most out of your African gambling vacation? Try out the Elephant Hills Resort in Zimbabwe; perched high above the impressive Victoria Falls looking down upon the upper Zambezi River, Elephant Hills boasts a dearth of facilities. Golf, wildlife tours, entertainment and, of course, a casino are all open to guests, and for quieter moments the Falls are only 4km away!
Is Zimbabwe not your cup of tea? Head over to Cameroon and stay at the Le Meridien hotel. Located in Cameroon’s largest city and cultural melting pot, Douala, Le Meridien exudes class and tranquillity in the centre of this bustling city and with a pool, excellent restaurant facilities and a hotel casino, there’s no better place to visit.
If you’re visiting a more northerly African clime, then Marrakech’s Hotel Es Saadi Palace and Villas is the place to stay. Visit Morocco in true style at this highly regarded destination, founded in 1952, sampling some cocktails at the Casino Terrace or exploring Moroccan flavours at the Epicurien restaurant, before trying your luck on the slots, tables and wheels at the Casino De Marrakech, located adjacent to the Hotel itself.
Finally, we have the Sun City Resort, one of South Africa’s most highly regarded casinos, known throughout the world. Alongside safari tours, adventure sports, golfing, and many excellent restaurants, you can visit one of the largest casinos in Africa (boasting 38 tables), a true gem in the South African crown!
In collaboration with Alex Saunders