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Uganda is a landlocked country in Central Africa with a population of about 38 million. Uganda is infamous for its human rights issues and are perhaps most famous for the brutal dictatorship of Idi Amin, who is said to have put 300,000 of his people to death. While things have certainly improved since Amin, there is much left to be done here in order to bring Uganda more up to accepted standards in this regard.
Uganda is also one of the poorest countries in the world with real per capita GDP only being a little over $500 a year, and this doesn’t mean that each person gets this much, as this is just the average, and there are a lot of very poor people that live here.
Uganda’s economy has historically been based upon agriculture, primarily coffee, but they have made progress in diversifying it and now the services industry comprises about half of their economy. In spite of the recent improvements though the poverty rate has actually gone up lately, and not only do they have issues with income distribution, but corruption is very high here.
Uganda continues to look to bring up their country and their economy and many challenges remain, but at least the political situation has improved lately and they have elections now, although some have questioned their legitimacy. (1)
In spite of their less than desirable political reputation, tourism in Uganda has really grown lately and in a country this poor, the $2 billion this industry brings in is most welcome. They now get over 200,000 tourists a year, which is way up from where it was when political oppression was much higher. A closing of several national parks also contributed to the decline, but there is still plenty to visit and see here and things are looking better lately. (2)
The tourists come here for nature though and not to gamble, but Uganda does have a single casino that does cater to them, the Kampala Casino in Kampala, the capital and largest city in Uganda with a population of about 1.7 million. This is a small casino though with 12 table games and 20 slot machines and that’s all they have as far as casinos in this country, at least commercial casinos aimed at tourists in hotels. (3)
Beyond that, gambling is rampant in Uganda among its people, in spite of how poor they may be. You don’t really see gambling on this scale in most poor African countries but poverty really doesn’t serve as an impediment to gambling here, and the government seems more than happy to collect the tax revenue they get from it without worrying too much about how this may affect the degree of poverty in the country.
There are over 1000 registered places to gamble in Uganda, many of which run around the clock, and serve hundreds of thousands of gamblers a day, all this in a country where 40 percent of the people get by on less than $1.25 a day.
This does not count all of the illegal gambling dens of which there is said to be a great many. Uganda has a voracious appetite for gambling, for both sports betting and casino games, and the people seem to like to bet on anything here really. (4)
While this has tended to worsen the poverty levels here, there are also quite a few Ugandans who have gone into business operating these establishments, even those of very meager means, who avoid the licensing fees and just set up shop, often right on the side of a roadway.
So Uganda is certainly not a country where we say that gambling has to gain in popularity to get off the ground, it is wildly popular here already, and if the country does end up becoming more prosperous, it will likely grow even further.
Playing Poker in Uganda
There is live poker in Uganda at their casino, the Kampala Casino, which has a couple of poker tables, although once again this casino caters to tourists. Other than that, the other gambling enterprises aren’t really focused on poker too much, and poker does have to grow to catch up more with sports betting and especially casino gambling among Ugandans.
With that said, poker is much more popular here than in most African countries, and it’s internet poker in particular that has seen the growth. About a quarter of Ugandans have internet access, almost all through smartphones, and it may seem odd that a country this poor has such a high percentage of people with smartphones, but Uganda is far from your typical poor African country.
With this very good level of internet access by African standards, when you combine that with the Ugandans’ love of gambling, you would guess that there’s a fair bit of online gambling that goes on here, and you’d be correct.
Like the land based gambling though, poker is well behind the other major forms of gambling here, but a fair number of Ugandans have taken to the game of online poker, and the convenience of playing on your phone whenever and wherever you want certainly adds to this appeal, in addition to the fact that online poker not only has the element of gambling to it that casino games have, they also pit players against one another in a contest of skill, which makes gambling much more fun.
So more and more people are coming to discover the game, and this is one of the reasons why so many online casino sites offer poker as well, to take advantage of the cross marketing opportunities, and that does tend to work fairly well in bringing more people over to the game of poker. So if you can get people to start gambling online, this in itself will end up growing the game.
Players in Uganda can play online poker with ease and there are no restrictions involved at the present time. Of course you’ll want to play at the best sites, so we have a list for you below.
Top Online Poker Sites Accepting Players from Uganda
We’ve got the 4 best online poker sites for you for players from Uganda. There are literally hundreds of online poker rooms out there and some of them are truly great, some just good, and some not that good, so it’s important to choose the best ones. All of these poker rooms offer first time depositors some nice bonus cash to give you another reason to give them a try.
888 Poker is one of the world’s favorite poker sites and boasts not only a high level of traffic but state of the art software, lots of game selection including several unique formats, generous player rewards, and more. You can even start playing here with real money even if you can’t make a deposit yet.
Titan Poker, along with sister site Bet 365 Poker, also have lots of traffic and that’s important because you want to make sure there’s lots of players on a poker site so you can play what you want whenever you want. These are both very good choices and they will both make sure that you are well taken care of as a player in addition to providing you with some of the best online poker on the internet.
Black Chip Poker is also well worth checking out, and we’ve liked this site for awhile but they had to gain more popularity to provide you with the kind of traffic that is deserving of our top list, but that’s the case now. This is the easiest site to do well on among our top 4 picks and that’s something we find appealing and so should you.