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Ivory Coast, also known as Cote D’Ivoire, which is Ivory Coast in French, is a country on the West Coast of Africa with a population of about 25 million people. Ivory Coast is a former colony of France who achieved their independence in 1960, however they have maintained close ties with France since, and with the West in general.
Ivory Coast has seen a coup and a couple of civil wars in recent years, but things have stabilized at the present time anyway, although these things do take their toll on a country to be sure. They aren’t that bad off economically as far as West African countries go though, and even though their per capita PPP GDP is only about $2000, that’s well above other countries in the region.
Ivory Coast is particularly known for its cocoa beans and is the world’s largest exporter of the commodity. They have suffered a bit more lately as prices for this and coffee have dropped, but the expectation is that the price of cocoa beans will rise dramatically in the next few years, which will benefit their economy, in spite of it being rife with corruption. (1)
Ivory Coast does have legal gambling, although like a lot of poorer African countries there is a limited amount of it available. They have one casino, the Hotel Ivoire Intercontinental and Casino in Abidjan. This is a fairly large hotel with 750 rooms, in addition to the casino, and the casino seems well liked but the hotel itself has gotten mixed reviews over the years.
As far as the casino goes, it features 14 table games including poker, and 60 gaming machines. So this is a decent sized casino by African standards at least. They have recently refurbished this hotel so that can only help increase its appeal. (2)
Other than that, Ivory Coast does have a lottery, which is pretty popular, and also now offers sports betting. The company that runs the lottery here reached a deal with a South African sports book to set up betting shops in Ivory Coast and now it’s easy for people to place bets on sporting events here.
There are plans on expanding this to offer both live and online betting in addition to a wider selection of things to bet on. So things look like they are taking off nicely lately as far as the Ivory Coast gambling market goes and unlike in many countries in the area, there’s already more for the people to bet on besides the lottery, and this is with the full approval of the government here. (3)
So gambling is growing here for sure, and as Ivory Coast becomes better off economically, which is predicted, this will provide even more disposable income to more of the people here and give them more of an ability to partake in gambling, especially online gambling, which is by far where the biggest potential here lies, as is the case pretty much everywhere, due to the low cost and the ease in which people can play.
Playing Poker in Ivory Coast
Like a lot of countries with casinos in Africa, Ivory Coast does offer a little live poker, although with only one casino and not a particularly large one, like in most other countries that have live casino poker, it is offered on a very limited basis only.
So there are 4 poker tables in Ivory Coast, at their lone casino, the Hotel Ivoire Intercontinental and Casino. There’s enough action here to keep these poker tables running which is pretty decent. This is the only live poker offered in the country though. (4)
Ivory Coast, or Cote D’Ivoire, does have a surprisingly good internet penetration for a West African country, and almost a quarter of the population here has online access, adding up to a potential online gambling market of over 5 million people. (5)
The government here does seem eager to expand online gambling in Ivory Coast, but so far poker isn’t even on the radar, as the main focus remains on sports gambling and if they do add more offerings, it’s more likely that casino games will be promoted long before poker ever is.
There are a lot of sports fans in Ivory Coast and Africa in general, with the main focus being betting on football (soccer), so given that the gambling market here is so underdeveloped, that is a logical first step in expanding it as we’re dealing with events that people are already well familiar with.
It will be more of a challenge to get people to play a lot more poker though, and so far there isn’t a lot of online poker played here, although there’s absolutely nothing stopping people from doing so, and a lack of familiarity with the game is the biggest roadblock right now.
However in time that may change as more and more people become introduced to the game, and poker is a game where you really have to try it out a fair bit before you really take a liking to it, but it does offer the advantage of being a game of both skill and chance, versus casino games which rely almost completely on chance in comparison.
We do have a selection for you of our top recommended sites if you are from Ivory Coast and can make use of such a list, as follows:
Top Online Poker Rooms For Players From Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire)
We have 4 recommendations for you, which happen to be 4 of the top 5 best online poker sites in the world, so you’re certainly not being shut out or cheated from playing with the best if you are from Ivory Coast and want to play online poker. All of these top picks offer nice first time cash bonuses for trying them as well as ongoing rewards for continuing on with them.
Our first pick for you is 888 Poker, and I don’t want you to think that since it’s our first pick and our personal favorite among all sites that this is the only site worth checking out. However if you did only try out one online poker site this would be a great choice. We love everything about this site and as it turns out so do a lot of other players.
Titan Poker and Bet365 Poker are a couple of other excellent choices and both are on the very popular iPoker Network. Like 888 Poker, they boast lots of traffic at all times of the day, and a lot of different types of poker to play as well. These are two very well run and very stable poker sites, things that are important to us and I’m sure you as well.
Black Chip Poker rounds out our top 4, a real up and coming online poker site. They have been around for quite a while now actually and thus have the experience to get it right, but more and more players have become familiar with them and the network they are on and this has caused them to really rise up the ranks and become an elite consideration.
So there’s some very good picks for you and we’re confident you’ll really like all of these, although you’re welcome to try out more than one as you prefer.
1. Ivory Coast