Legality of Betting in Burkina Faso

Legality of Betting in Burkina Faso

Betting is a legal activity in Burkina Faso, regulated by the government agency Commission Nationale des Jeux de Hasard (CNJH). The CNJH oversees licensing and inspection of all gambling activities in the country.

  • The CNJH was established in 2012 to regulate the gambling industry.
  • It is responsible for issuing operating licenses to domestic and foreign gambling companies.
  • Licensed operators must comply with regulations around age limits, responsible gambling, anti-money laundering measures, and more.
  • The CNJH regularly inspects gambling operators to enforce compliance with regulations. Fines may be issued for violations.
  • Recent law changes introduced a 15% tax on gross gaming revenue for all licensed gambling operators. This tax funds public services.

Licensed Gambling Operators in Burkina Faso

There are over a dozen licensed gambling operators offering a variety of gaming options in Burkina Faso:

Operator NameType of Gambling OfferedNumber of Locations
ABC CasinosLand-based casinos and slot halls5 locations nationwide
BetwayOnline sports bettingMobile app and website
Burkina LotoNational lotteryTicket sales at over 1,500 vendors
Cheval CasinoRacetrack and off-track betting on horses1 racetrack, 100+ off-track sites
Jackpot247Online casinoMobile and web platforms
Kings CasinoLand-based casino and poker room1 location in Ouagadougou
LeoVegasMobile sports bettingiOS and Android apps
Lucky Star SlotsSlot machine arcades3 gaming halls in Bobo-Dioulasso
RaceBetsOnline horse race bettingMobile app and website
Winou SportsRetail sports betting shops25 locations across 8 cities

Popularity of Betting Among Burkina Faso’s Population

Betting is a common pastime activity across Burkina Faso, with around 25% of adults participating regularly. Sports betting generates the most revenue, but lotteries and casino-style games are also prominent in the gambling landscape. Contributing factors driving popularity include:

  • Increased mobile and internet connectivity enabling access to online betting platforms. 57% of Burkinabés owned a mobile phone and internet users were 28% of the population in 2018. These figures continue rising thanks to expanding 3G/4G networks.
  • A growing youth population with high interest in international soccer contributes to the popularity of sports wagering. 68% of Burkina Faso’s residents are under age 25.
  • Limited alternative entertainment options in rural areas makes betting an appealing recreational activity. Just over 77% of the population lives outside urban centers.
  • Improvement in economic conditions with a rise of middle income consumers able to spend discretionary income on gambling for entertainment. GDP has grown 6% year over year since 2016.

Government Steps in Regulating and Taxing the Gambling Industry

The government of Burkina Faso and the Commission Nationale des Jeux de Hasard (CNJH) oversee regulation and taxation of the gambling industry through the following measures:

  • Licensing Requirements – All operators must obtain a government-issued license verifying compliance with regulations around responsible gambling, anti-money laundering, game integrity, and more.
  • Taxation – A national law enacted in 2018 mandates a 15% tax on gross gaming revenues of all licensed gambling companies. These tax funds support public infrastructure.
  • Audits & Inspections – The CNJH regularly audits licensees to ensure regulatory adherence and can levy fines or revoke licenses for violations.
  • Geo-blocking – Unlicensed gambling sites and apps are blocked to prevent access from within Burkina Faso to protect consumers.
  • Limitations – Certain types of games associated with high risk or speculative betting are prohibited by law. These include online casinos and virtual sports.

Collaboration with International Organizations for Improved Regulation

Burkina Faso works with various global regulatory bodies to adopt international best practices for oversight of the gambling sector:

  • The country became a member of the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) in 2016. The IAGR promotes information exchange and cooperation between gaming authorities worldwide.
  • Government representatives have participated in responsible gambling conferences held by the European Association for the Study of Gambling (EASG) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) in the United States.
  • The CNJH signed a collaborative agreement with the Malta Gaming Authority, considered among the gold standards globally for online gambling regulation. This facilitates sharing standards, licensing frameworks, operator compliance procedures and more.
  • Discussions are underway exploring partnerships with the UK Gambling Commission and regulators in France as models for updated legislation and operational improvement of oversight bodies.

The Growing Gambling Industry in Burkina Faso

The gambling industry has expanded rapidly since regulation began in 2012, with annual growth around 15% recently. Key factors enabling this growth include:

  • Improving infrastructure like widespread mobile internet and digital payments allowing access to online betting platforms from across the country.
  • A young, tech-savvy population with disposable income for entertainment and gambling activities.
  • Government initiatives encouraging foreign gambling companies to enter the market, increasing competition and variety of betting options.
  • Ongoing economic development and rising wages providing Burkinabés more expendable income that can be used on gambling for entertainment.
  • Cultural acceptance of gambling as a legitimate recreational activity, reducing social stigma.

Expectations for the Gambling Industry’s Revenue Contributions

The government projects the gambling industry will become an increasingly vital source of tax income supporting public services as it continues rapid expansion:

  • Tax revenue from licensed gambling companies is forecast to grow 20% year-over-year driven by market growth and improved collection.
  • This income stream is expected to generate $75-100 million annually by 2025 based on current trajectories.
  • Additional economic benefits are seen from job creation in the casino and betting sectors which are expected to employ over 15,000 Burkinabés directly and indirectly at this size.
  • Officials also highlight the potential for the gambling industry to attract foreign direct investment and tourism activity as it develops.

Conclusion: The Future of Gambling in Burkina Faso

In conclusion, the outlook for both the gambling industry and the regulatory environment around it is highly positive:

The gambling market appears primed for robust expansion as Burkinabé demographics and increasing wealth enable broader participation for entertainment and leisure. Sustained annual growth upwards of 15% can be expected as access to betting products improves, thanks to government support through progressive regulations, licensing deals, infrastructure development and more.

With gambling participation intertwined in day-to-day culture for a quarter of adults already and reliance on gambling tax income set to rise, the CNJH regulatory authority will continue efforts to both facilitate market growth and mitigate associated risks. Finding the appropriate balance between economic benefits and societal protections through domestically-focused policies as well as global collaborations will be an ongoing priority as the country determines best practices moving forward.While the maturing sector is likely to face some challenges related to problem gambling and related issues, the active progress of Burkina Faso’s regulators already indicates that the country will eventually reach a solution suitable for its unique situation. With the proper regulatory framework in place, the economic benefits and responsible gambling seem achievable, which is why is the fastest growing site.