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Mozambique is a country in southeastern Africa of about 25 million people. Mozambique was ruled by Portugal for four centuries until finally gaining its independence in 1975. The influence of the Portuguese remains though and among other things, Portuguese is the official language of the country.
However, just two years after gaining their independence from Portugal, Mozambique fell into a civil war that lasted for 15 years, which greatly destabilized the country and its economy in particular. Things have settled down since then although Mozambique still has a ways to do to repair the damage that was done during this unsettling time, which among other things devastated their tourism industry, although it has since recovered to a large degree. (1)
In spite of a recent economic recovery, Mozambique remains among the poorest countries in Africa and the world. Their per capita PPP GDP sits at only about $1100, placing them 191st out of 198 countries tracked. So they certainly have a long way to just get out of the basement here even among African countries, the world’s poorest continent. (2)
While Mozambique’s economy remains mostly based upon agriculture, they have significant resources and other segments of the economy are growing, and this is expected to continue as conditions here gradually improve.
Tourism continues to grow now, especially from South African visitors, although Mozambique still lacks the sufficient infrastructure to take full advantage of this industry. While the economy as a whole is growing in leaps and bounds, corruption remains a big concern, and cleaning that up will be necessary as well in order to get this country out of their present state.
Mozambique has legal gambling and has a couple of casinos that are targeted at the tourists they get, although they are modest in size with only 2 table games, 118 slot machines, and about 4300 square feet of gaming space combined. As the tourist industry continues to grow, as it is expected to, we may see an expansion of this in the coming years. (4)
Mozambique now has some of the most liberal gambling laws in the world, after legislation in 2010 opened things up completely, where prior to that the casinos here had a monopoly on gambling.
Now, among other things, slot machines can now be operated anywhere, and online gambling became legal as well. The noteworthy thing about this is that this allows for a free market to reign here, and instead of regulating gambling more like is generally the case, they ended up casting off regulations in favor of just letting people gamble all they want. (5)
Where online gambling is concerned, this is noteworthy because Mozambique does not have any online gambling at all, regulated or not, and rather than either prohibit or remain silent on the issue, they just told people to go ahead and gamble all they want online, and the online market here is way too small to regulate at this point anyway.
In spite of this though, the people here don’t really have much money to gamble and there’s not a heck of a lot of gambling that goes on among the people of Mozambique at present, although this does set the framework for some real expansion as things improve economically, which is happening now, and we may see Mozambique’s gambling market really expand in the coming years.
Playing Poker in Mozambique
Mozambique does have a little live poker that is run here, and both of their casinos do have poker rooms, with a total of 3 poker tables among them. So that’s surely not a lot of action and it is pretty much confined to tourists, particularly those from South Africa where Mozambique gets most of its tourism from. (6)
Poker is pretty popular in South Africa these days though so perhaps that will spread north more and more as time goes on, but the process is pretty slow. Not a lot of people in Mozambique have the means to play live poker, with the higher stakes that live poker requires, not to mention having to travel to a casino to play it right now.
Poker could be laid out at poker rooms outside the casinos now, and this is now possible in theory, but poker simply isn’t big enough yet. Poker is also a more expensive game to lay out than, say, slot machines, and slot machines tend to be a lot more popular among the casual gambler, so that’s the area where land based gambling is expected to grow, and with poker, we’re going to have to see it grow in popularity a lot more as well as see the people here prosper more before that even becomes a realistic possibility.
Online poker, on the other hand, is where the potential for the expansion of poker really lies in Mozambique, and although that’s true generally, it’s particularly true here. Of course there are some challenges here, but one of them isn’t the certainty of whether you can play online poker legally or not.
Some countries prohibit online poker, and in others the laws may be vague and there may be quite a bit of uncertainty as to whether it’s legal or not, and in still others it might be silent on it, which generally means its legal. Elsewhere, it may be declared legal with certain restrictions, generally limiting players to specific sites that are licensed.
In Mozambique though, online poker is legal with no reservations, which is as permissive as these laws get, totally permissive. So that’s bound to help the online gambling and online poker market for sure.
However, the fact that the country remains among the very poorest in the world is certainly a constraint. In particular, the ability of people to access the internet is a big factor, and only about 6% of people in Mozambique have such access.
As both of these conditions improve, and poker also becomes more widely known and promoted, this may provide the recipe that we need to see Mozambique’s very small online poker market get off the ground.
Best Poker Sites For Players From Mozambique
In the mean time though if you are from here and want to either try out online poker for the first time or perhaps are playing at an online poker site or sites now and want to make sure you’re playing at the best available to you, we have a list of our top recommendations for you. All provide first time depositors with them some bonus cash to get you started.
888 Poker is a great place to start, and you’ll be assured that you are playing with the very best if you play here. There are a lot of reasons why this site has grown to be so huge over the last few years, and they have everything an online poker player could wish for. You won’t have to worry at all that there is a better site out there.
Titan Poker and their sister site Bet365 Poker are also top choices in the world of online poker, and new players particularly find these two sites appealing, as do more experienced players. They are both on the same poker network and are the cream of the crop among the dozens of poker rooms on the iPoker Network, and both will ensure that you’re treated the way you want to be, like your business is really valued.
Black Chip Poker may be the best overall in fact for new players, as the strength of competition here is the lowest among our top sites, and this makes it easier to do well, particularly when you’re first starting out and need to gain more experience to become a better player. This is also a good site for regulars as well and more and more of them are coming over here and staying, and this site is also worth a try for you.