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Lesotho is a small landlocked country within the area of South Africa and completely surrounded by it. Given this, Lesotho maintains a very strong connection with South Africa and in fact everyone and everything that comes and goes to and from Lesotho has to pass through South Africa, so they are certainly natural trading partners.
In recent years though, Lesotho has expanded its reach much more globally, and nowadays exports to many countries in the world, particularly its textiles industry which supply many top worldwide clothing and apparel brands.
Most of the people here are sustenance farmers though, which in large part explains the very low income, but to be fair, sustenance farming doesn’t yield much income, and the food that they grow does factor into things. So these people are not well off by any means but when you look at people’s income, well they are pretty much just growing food for themselves and don’t really sell much of it so their income will naturally be very low.
Lesotho is only about 12,000 square miles in size, so it’s pretty small in area, and it’s also small in population as far as countries go, with only about 2 million people. It’s a poor country even by African standards, with about 45% of its people living below the international poverty line of less than $1.25 a day, although this is down from the 50% that it was at just a few years ago, so things are moving in the right direction at least. (1)
Lesotho is moving more and more toward having a larger middle class, and many workers travel to South Africa for work, which isn’t reflected in the country’s per capita GDP, so in spite of that remaining very low, around $2300 per year, in Lesotho at least, it’s not fully represented, so while this is certainly a country which is struggling economically, things aren’t as bad as they are in some other less fortunate African countries.
Lesotho has both regulated and unregulated gambling, although with such a small population and so many of them being so poor, this doesn’t lend itself to a very big gambling market in general. Still though, there’s a fair bit if gambling that goes on here anyway, and being poor really doesn’t stop people from gambling in many areas of the world anyway, and while it’s certainly muted in Lesotho, it’s fairly popular anyway.
Lesotho is one of the countries in Africa which has commercial casinos, two of them in fact, and although they are pretty modest in size, they are bigger than you see in some African countries. Both offer a dozen or so table games and about 70 slot machines. They are both located in the capital of Maseru, which is also Lesotho’s largest city with a population of about a quarter million people. (2)
In addition to these two larger casinos, there are quite a few smaller unregulated gambling operations in the country. The two major casinos are aimed at tourists primarily, both being located in hotels, and Lesotho does get a fair number of tourists for its size. Locals are permitted to play at them but for most, they are out of reach and people want more ready access to gambling than these hotels offer. (3)
The government does look to crack down on the unlicensed establishments though and have strict regulations in place to make running these places illegal, although they don’t tend to go after them very much. The people of Lesotho don’t really have much in the way of legal options for gambling though, there isn’t even a lottery here, and therefore there is a demand for gambling that isn’t being satisfied by the legal options, which requires that it be satisfied by non legal means. (4)
Playing Poker in Lesotho
Neither of the two casinos in Lesotho offer live poker, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a demand for it right now, even among tourists. The illegal gambling focuses mostly on slots here, so they don’t offer poker either, and poker isn’t a very popular game here as of yet among the local people. (5)
This leaves online poker as the only real option here for people looking to play poker in Lesotho, although less than 6% of the people here have internet access at present, amounting to only about 100,000 people with online access in Lesotho, so the potential market is pretty small right now. (6)
Perhaps as the internet becomes expanded here we’ll see more internet poker being played, but the country has to improve their telecommunications infrastructure significantly before that can happen, and poker also has to grow a lot more in popularity from where it is now.
However, they are located right in the backyard of the poker capital of Africa, South Africa, so that may indeed continue to move in the right direction with the passing of time. The real potential though here is indeed with the growth of online poker and we will need to see access to it expanded before we see too much movement here.
If you are from Lesotho though and are reading this, you obviously have both access to the internet and an interest in poker, and there’s really nothing stopping you from trying out and playing at some of the best online poker sites on the internet, and nothing beats the sheer convenience of playing poker against players from all over the world without even having to leave the comfort of your home.
So if that’s the case, we have our list of the best places to play online poker for people from Lesotho, and all of these selections are both top rate and also offer free poker cash as an incentive to try them out. So here’s our list for you:
Top Online Poker Sites Accepting Players from Lesotho
The first place new online poker players should be looking at is 888 Poker, which we not only feel is the best out there, but also offers both a deposit and a no deposit bonus, so you don’t even have to be ready to deposit yet to try them out with real money, real money they just give you. If they weren’t very confident they are the best they wouldn’t be doing that, and they are at the very least very, very good.
Titan Poker and Bet 365 Poker are a couple more top notch online poker sites, and while you do need to deposit to get paid here, they do have freeroll tournaments where you can win real money and gain some experience without having to put any money in yet. They both offer great traffic and a player experience that rivals the very best online poker sites out there, and both are well worthy of your checking them out.
Black Chip Poker is also a very good online poker site and good enough to make our list of the top 4 we have for you, in spite of not being as well known as of yet. They are a lot more well known than they used to be, and we even liked them back then, and like them even more now that they have the traffic levels online poker players really like. There are lots of less experienced players here as well, more so than with our other recommendations, which makes them perfect for new players because the players here are easier to beat.