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The Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DR Congo, not to be confused with its smaller neighbor the Republic of the Congo, is the second largest country in Africa by area and the fourth largest on the continent by population, standing at 75 million people.
DR Congo was formerly known as Zaire for a number of years, from 1971 to 1997, when they took on their new name, bringing back the name Congo as they had at one time been known as the Congo Free State, the Belgian Congo, and the Republic of the Congo.
Since changing their name from Zaire, this hasn’t been exactly the most stable of African countries, and they have been occupied with several different civil wars since, one after another, has led to the death of over 5 million people and has served to really destabilize the country as would be expected under such turmoil
DR Congo has vast natural resources and is the richest country in the world in this respect, with mineral resources valued at $24 trillion. This should be a very wealthy country but ironically they are at the bottom, and according to the IMF are the second poorest nation in the world in terms of per capita GDP, second only to the Central African Republic, with only a little over $700 per person in per capita PPP GDP, with the actual number in real dollars being only $435 per person. (2)
Stories of corruption in DR Congo are legendary, where leaders have helped themselves to billions of dollars of public money while the people starved. The main issue here though is that things are so poorly run, however this country does have great promise economically if and when they are ever able to capitalize on their wealth, at least get into a position where they do not have to rely on international aid to keep things together.
DR Congo does offer legal gambling in several forms, one of them is by way of obtaining a license from the government to operate a casinos, and there are currently 2 casinos that are in operation here, the Carnival Casino in Gombe with 13 table games and 60 gaming machines, and the Grand Hotel Kinshasa in Kinshasa, with 7 table games and 100 gaming machines. (2)
Two casinos isn’t that much for a country of this size but DR Congo doesn’t get that many tourists, in spite of being a country with a lot of natural beauty, the tourism industry here is undeveloped though and the ongoing war that they have faced certainly hasn’t helped matters either. (3)
The DR Congo also has a state run lottery, as well as allowing residents to place off track wagers on French horse racing, which was set up as a result of DR Congo’s close ties to France, being a former possession of theirs.
All told though, there’s not a whole lot of gambling that goes on by residents of DR Congo, and for most, the lottery is all they could really afford anyway. If and when DR Congo becomes raised out of the clutches of the extreme poverty they face, this has the potential to be a big gambling market, but people need money to gamble, and right now only a small minority of the people here can afford to do much of it at all.
Poker in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
As might be expected given the current situation in DR Congo, there isn’t much poker of any sort that is played here right now. They do have a little live poker though, at the Carnival Casino, which features 3 poker tables. That’s not a lot though for 75 million people. (4)
Gambling has to catch on a lot more here for poker to ever be very popular, other than the lottery that is, and the wave of gambling popularity that has swept though much of Africa hasn’t really reached DR Congo as of yet. It’s pretty tightly regulated here though in comparison with many African countries who have much more lax standards, and they only license casinos, and casinos are expensive to build and don’t really cater to the common people on this continent anyway.
So this does leave the possibility of online poker as far as the expansion of poker goes, and in comparison, online poker simply dwarfs land based poker worldwide and in every locale, so it doesn’t even matter if the DR Congo has land based poker or not.
However, there are a few things that you need to make online poker grow, and the first of course is a broad interest in the game of poker, which isn’t present here yet. Next, you need people to have access to the internet and there isn’t much of that here anyway, with only 3% of the population having internet access, a very low number indeed. (5)
Of course you also need disposable income of some sort to play online poker, and although you don’t need a lot, you do need some, and this is something that is not in abundance here, to say the least. However, with economic resurgence comes both more disposable income and more internet access, so these things do move together, and with more internet access comes the potential at least for poker to catch on more, so they are all linked really.
For those who are in the DR Congo with all of these things now, and DR Congo does have quite a few internet users just from sheer numbers, 2.4 million of them in fact and growing, and you are looking to either try out online poker or perhaps looking to make sure that you are playing on the best sites from those available to you, we do have some recommendations that you’ll want to check out.
Top Online Poker Sites For Players From DR Congo
Let’s begin by talking about what many consider to be the very best online poker site out there period, 888 Poker. 888 Poker has vast experience in the online poker industry and enormous popularity to go along with it, and their success has grown more and more with each passing year. So this obviously means they do a lot of things right. To welcome you, like all of our recommended sites, they have some bonus cash waiting for you, and even have some if you don’t have any money to deposit yet.
Titan Poker and Bet365 are a couple of other good choices for you and not all online poker sites take players from DR Congo but these two are more than happy to welcome you. There’s some bonus cash waiting for you at both of these places, in addition to all of the other rewards they have for you to want you to keep playing with them. These are both first class online poker sites.
Black Chip Poker is also an excellent choice especially for less experienced players, as the players here tend to be even easier to beat than at our other top poker rooms. Collect your bonus from them and give them a try as well. This is another poker site with plenty of traffic day and night and they will do their best to keep you with them as well, something that’s definitely in the interest of players.