Exploring Ghana’s Gambling Scene

Gambling has an extensive history in Ghana. Although there is no clear answer as to when the pastime first arrived in the country, the earliest formal laws relating to it date back to 1960. It is believed that gambling was prevalent long before this but was simply unregulated.

Fast-forward to the 21st century, and the invention of online casinos alongside the opportunity to place wagers online has changed almost everything for Ghanaian players. New laws were drafted to deal with the deluge of new opportunities and to reflect changes in the industry.

Since these new laws were drafted, the pastime has skyrocketed. With new operators offering unique services to the gambling community, the stage has been set for the sector to continue its enormous growth. Read on as we look at the country’s flourishing gambling scene. 

Early Laws

As stated above, gambling in Ghana has been legal since it was first legally permitted in 1960 under the Lotteries and Betting Act (Act 31). This law made provisions for lotteries and certain types of bets, but casino games or games of skill (such as poker) were still considered unregulated. 

However, Act 31 was just the first in an avalanche of new laws passed from 1960 until the mid-1970s. Following this, the local government approved the Football Pools Authority Act (1961), the Gambling Machines Decree (1973), and the Casino Licensing Decree (1975).

Each of these rulings welcomed new types of gambling, allowing legal casinos to begin operations. As these opportunities welcomed new players, gambling became even more popular among locals eager to try new ways to place bets. 

The downside of having various laws to deal with the different types of gambling was that the country still lacked a definitive governing body. Instead, the Ministry of the Interior was tasked with overseeing all gambling activities and ensuring no unlicensed ones occurred. 

Further subsidiary laws were passed during this same era, such as the State Property and Contracts Act (1960) and the State Lands Act (1962). These stipulated that the state could acquire this property on its behalf if an operator were struggling to purchase property to allocate for gambling purposes. 

Aiming to help the industry grow, the law also mentioned that the state would be responsible for bearing the costs of acquiring any property. This measure was controversial at the time, as the state would carry the costs and risk of the property even though the operator would receive the benefits from it.

Consolidation of Gambling Acts

With various laws overseeing different types of gambling and the sudden appearance of online gambling, the government was in a difficult position. By 2006, iGaming was quickly growing internationally, and it wasn’t long before scammers got in on the action in an attempt to defraud innocent players.

To ensure a unified legal framework related to all gambling activities, the local government approved the Gaming Act of 2006. This new law would supersede all previous laws and become the defining regulation for all types of gambling in the country, except for the lotto.

Meanwhile, the lottery received its own updated law, the National Lotto Act, 2006, which established the National Lottery Authority. This governing body oversees the lotto’s operations and works tirelessly to put an end to the more than 300 illegal lottery operations that exist in the region.

Like the National Lottery Act, the Gaming Act, 2006 did more than update old laws relating to games of chance. It also provided a new governing body that ensures all gambling in the country is regulated, fair, and licensed. This body is called the Gaming Commission of Ghana and operates under the Ministry of the Interior. 


Ghana has eight physical casinos throughout the country. For many years, these casinos have been the epicenter of gambling within the region. But as iGaming evolved on the continent from its initial launch in South Africa in 1994, the gambling scene changed dramatically.

Despite many still enjoying trips to the casino, millions of players prefer to log online and try their luck using one of the many online casinos available. For several years following 2017, online casinos like those found on were the primary source of entertainment for players. 

However, as sports betting became a worldwide phenomenon, there are more options now than ever. In fact, sports betting has become the most popular way for Ghanaian players to gamble. 

New games released by casino developers and more sports supported by bookmakers have encouraged the growth of users in the iGaming sector. This has led to a year-on-year increase and a bustling gambling scene that seems unlikely to slow down anytime soon.

In 2023, online casinos generated a revenue of $23.07 million. Sports betting was responsible for revenue of $27.36 million, for a combined total of $51.30 million (including the marginal amount contributed by online lottery sales).

While far behind other countries in terms of revenue, these figures marked a more than 15% increase in revenue for online gambling in the region from 2022. This is set to double over the next five years, with total revenue expected to be almost $73.84 million by 2029.


Gamblers in Ghana are fortunate to have access to several local online casinos and plenty of international operators who can legally offer their services. These casinos and bookmakers offer the best iGaming experience, allowing the African country’s residents to experience the thrill of gambling safely.

All this is thanks to a forward-thinking government and the mission of the Gaming Commission of Ghana. With relevant laws that have considered the industry’s adoption, Ghana is now home to a roaring gambling scene that players can take advantage of — one that seems to be on an upward spiral that isn’t likely to come down soon.

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