Gambling in the Continent of Africa

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Africa is one of the world’s largest continents, with over 20 percent of the global land mass. More than 50 independent countries share its vast territory. It is a force to be considered very carefully regarding gambling in the world and that includes online casinos too.

Although most of the countries do have legalized gambling, the official activities are intense, indeed they are quite limited in scope. Lotteries are found in most countries, and while half or more do have casinos, these are mostly confined to single facilities in major cities. The major force in confining the existence of officially recognized gambling is the abject poverty found in most corners of the continent, especially in lands below the Sahara Desert.

Along with poverty, conditions of external as well as internal violence and the accompanying political instability and authoritarian rule make those who would invest in casinos wary of such ventures. There are exceptions, but these are mainly found in North Africa and in the Union of South Africa.

The North African countries have populations which are predominately Muslim Arabs whose religion offers a general condemnation of gambling activity. Casinos do exist in three of the six countries; however, they do not let their local residents play in the facilities. Morocco has six casinos. It is also the only country of the region with a lottery and horse race betting. Tunisia has seven casinos. Egypt has 26 casinos, with 20 of them located in major hotels in Cairo. These cater to visiting businessmen, mostly from Saudi Arabia but also Europeans and Americans. The successful Egyptian casinos share their wealth with the government, which collects 50 percent of their table and slot revenue in taxation.

Casino gaming emerged in South Africa only in recent years, but all this shifted in the 1990s as forces of reform compelled the white leadership of South Africa to yield to majority sentiment, and a new majority (nonwhite) democratic government was created.

The new central government decided that casino gaming should remain and be expanded. Over the years, several hundred illegal casinos were in operation. New legal casinos were needed to become a force to allow strong government action to close down illegal gaming. A national lottery was created to allow up to 40 casinos.

The established casinos of the homelands were not automatically guaranteed licenses. After the first round of licensing, 9 of the 17 homeland casinos remained operating. The National Gambling Board was created and established uniform standards for casinos, as well as an inspection authority.

Outside the boundaries of South Africa, nearby governments have also permitted casinos. Zimbabwe and Zambia have casino facilities near the Victoria Falls tourist attraction; Lesotho and Swaziland also have casinos. All the countries of the region of southern Africa also offer lottery gaming.

What Do You Do When You Win Big?

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Can any of us say how we’d react if we won big at an online casino?

Let’s say you’ve been going to several different online casinos for a few years and learning several games well enough to be called a master at them (or at least a journeyman). Week after week you’ve put in your time and then one day you hit the virtual button, spin the virtual roulette ball or lay down your cyber cards in an online poker room and you realize, “Oh my god… I’ve won!”

Your heart rate goes up by a 100%, your emotions just hit full tilt boogie and your mind is already calculating what you can spend the money on.

But what would that mean to your life style? Let’s say you won the proverbial jackpot at some progressive slots games and it was something really big; like around a million dollars let’s say. What would that mean to your life?

Would you go out and call all of your friends and relatives? Hit the forum board of the online casino and post “I WON!!!” so that all of your peers could see your victory? There is no doubt about it that all of us, no matter how emotionally balanced or out of balance we are would react with an emotional outburst of biblical proportions. So what happens then?

Reality would step in. Considerations of federal taxes would have to be considered… well, depending on the country you live in. Different countries have different laws regarding winning big money on gambling or lotteries. So probably your best step would be to first check in with your favorite tax advisor or accountant friend. Figure out what is yours and what is now the property of the federal government. Once that is done, then you’ll have to go through the process of getting your money out of your online casino account. Then comes that moment when it’s sitting your bank account, completely accessible by you. What now?

If you choose to be smart, try giving yourself a small portion of the money and go out and be stupid for a while. Have fun, buy a toy for yourself. A motorbike, a skidoo or a jet-ski. Whatever; have some fun. And then hit the brakes and start thinking about what the money can do for you in the long term.

Most people who win big, are broke again within two years. How about you make a choice to beat those percentages with your online casino winnings. Become one of the few who thinks before they act!

Sex, Women and Gambling

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Let’s be honest here. We are all aware of the close connection between sex and gambling. All the movies over the years, whose stories have totally or partially found a setting in a casino landscape. And be it in a “Casino Royale” (populated with elegant ladies sporting a .25 caliber Beretta in their clutch purses)or in a mob run Las Vegas casino with the ubiquitous showgirl on the arm of a powerful mob boss) we consciously or subconsciously make the connection; gambling and sex.

This got started in the American west in approximately 1850 when that first generation of independent women hit the casinos and gambling houses looking for work. And it isn’t rocket science, for the early proprietors of those establishments to figure out that a pretty face at a few of the tables could boost revenue, but the west was known for the lack of female companionship. So, what were the casinos to do?

The French Government, eager to empty Paris of a host of prostitutes, offered bars of gold in a special lottery, the profits of which were to go toward passage money for three hundred Parisian daughters of joy. These expatriates soon entrenched themselves in San Francisco, where they bartered their baggage for gold and proved more attractive to men than the Mexican or Peruvian crib girls who operated from mean little shacks around the sprawling city.

In 1850 the proprietor of the Bella Union shrewdly hired one of the Frenchwomen to act as croupier at a roulette table and she became a great drawing card. Miners just in from their diggings and hungry for the sight of a woman, merchants and adventurers drawn to San Francisco by the bugle call of gold, professional gamblers from rival establishments came to bet their bundles of dust at the table presided over by the French femme. Soon every big gambling house in town had at least one woman croupier or dealer of a short-card game.

If we roll the clocks ahead 160 odd years to the age of the online casinos and poker rooms what is it that greets you upon arrival at many a gambling website? Either a beautiful lady or handsome man. He is often dressed in a well tailored suit or a tux like some pseudo-James Bond or the ladies are dressed like Vesper Lind or Miss Moneypenny.

And it works. If we see someone sexy at a site we are checking out for the first time, we are statistically more likely to stay and check things out; maybe open up an account. Sex sells people. The numbers are more certain than any algorithm you’ve worked out to give you an edge at the tables.