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Madagascar is an island country off of the southeast coast of Africa, and is actually the fourth largest island in the world, and has a population of about 22 million people. Madagascar is known particularly for its wide biodiversity, and 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth.
Poverty is very widespread in Madagascar, with over 90% of the population getting by on less than $2 a day. They are in the bottom of the pack as far as African countries go, with a per capita PPP GDP of only about $1400, but combined with the way that this income is distributed in this country, only a small percentage of the population here is not poor.
Madagascar recently went though a political upheaval, which saw their elected president deposed and power seized, although democracy was restored in 2014 and the current leader has been elected by popular vote.
Madagascar’s economy relies on agriculture to a large degree, although it’s pretty diversified for a country this poorly off overall. Tourism also plays a fairly significant role, although it did decline during the 5 years of political turmoil, dropping by over half, but things have settled down more now here so we may expect this to increase again. (1)
Gambling is legal in Madagascar, as it is in almost all African countries, although the gambling market here isn’t well developed at all, at least as of yet. Madagascar doesn’t even have a lottery, and the only land based gambling to be found here is at their casinos, and they have three of those, targeted primarily toward tourists. (2)
So the domestic land based gambling market is virtually non existent here, where in many other African countries it thrives, but the expansion of gambling in Africa is a fairly recent development, and it simply hasn’t spread to this island very much as of yet. In time though this may change, although the very high poverty rate in Madagascar does make this more challenging.
Of the three casinos, two of them are of the larger variety with the third being very small with only a few table games. The two major ones, the Colbert Hotel and Casino, the country’s largest casino, and the Hilton Madagascar, are both located in the capital and largest city of Antananarivio, a metropolis of about 3 million people. (3)
The third casino is located at a resort on one of the adjacent islands that is also part of Madagascar, the Adnilana Beach Hotel and Casino, and this one caters to tourists pretty much exclusively. (3)
Playing Poker in Madagascar
The people of Madagascar aren’t real big on gambling yet so it follows that they aren’t real big on poker either. However, Madagascar does have a live poker room, at the Hilton Madagascar, with 6 live poker tables, and while this may not sound like much, there are only a few countries in Africa that have more live poker tables than this. (5)
In addition to live poker, there are a fair number of poker tournaments that run here, and while live poker is far from the magnitude that we see in the leading countries in Africa in this regard, it is at least growing in popularity, even though poker has a long way to go to get as popular as it is in many countries.
As far as the prospects of the online poker market growing here, such a small percentage of people from Madagascar have access to the internet that this serves as a big limiting factor. Only 3.7% of the population has the means to go online at all these days, which is reflective of both how poor the country is and how poor the people are. (6)
Still though, that does add up to over 800,000 people who do have access to the internet, and these are the people of Madagascar of greater means, and the means to play online poker if they wished for sure. So the second element that we need to see here for poker to grow more is the popularity of the game to grow as well, and as that does, and the amount of people who can play online poker increases as well, we may see some real growth here in the game.
There is ample opportunity for those from Madagascar who wish to play poker and have the means to do it to find plenty of great action online. Almost all of the world’s top poker sites accept players from Madagascar, in contrast to some countries where it can be difficult to find a good online poker room that will take you. Some governments also seek to prevent their people from gambling and playing poker online by blocking these sites, but this is not the case in Madagascar.
So we have for you a list of our top 4 recommendations for online poker players from Madagascar, or those who wish to try out online poker, and all of them offer nice bonus cash for first time players there to give you another reason to check them out, and they continue to reward you well as you continue on with them past the bonus period. So here’s our recommendations for you:
Top Online Poker Sites For Players from Madagascar
888 Poker leads our list for you, although any of these 4 are well worth trying out or they would not be on our list. 888 might be a little better than the rest though and the fact that they have some free poker cash for you even if you can’t deposit just yet is just another reason. This is a first class online poker site all the way, with tons of traffic and different things to play, eye popping software, and some great customer service as well.
The iPoker Network is our next choice, and while there are a lot of different poker rooms on this network, 2 of them stand out for us, which are Titan Poker and Bet 365 Poker. They are the cream of the crop on this very popular network, which, like 888 Poker, is among the world’s favorite places to play online poker at. These two poker rooms are especially well known for their player retention, which tells us they are doing a lot of things right, although we already know that from our own personal experiences playing at them.
Finally, Black Chip Poker rounds out our list for you, and this poker site has come a long way lately, moving up the ranks as more and more online poker players discover and become turned on to them. They get a lot of their traffic from the United States actually, and while almost all online poker rooms have turned their backs on U.S. players, Black Chip has not, so you know you can count on them. They have both lots of traffic now and still have lots of fish, so if you are new, this is a particularly good choice, and if you are experienced, you already know that the more fish, or weaker players, a poker site has, the better.