Gambling business in Cameroon - the tax regulations | OpenHub Digital (2023)

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Brief: Let’s talk about the gambling business in Cameroon – specifically casinos that have specific tax law provisions.

Given the frequent demands by readers on gambling and games of chance in Cameroon, we have decided to put down something on it. Business is business, even though gambling is not one of the things I cherish. However, so long as we are into business and it falls within the law, we have to do what is necessary – give out the right information to the public.

If you are reading this, take note: We do not provide tax, legal or financial advice well as advice concerning the right interpretation of the legislation on gambling. We are here to give you information that may assist you develop your business ideas. It is up to you to get your own legal or business advice when it comes to gambling businesses.

Online gambling has seen an increase in popularity in the past yearswith many sport betting sites being implanted in the country. Thecountry’s laws permit gambling and games of chance, even though youfind very little regulations put in place. This has paved the way forwebsites dedicated to gambling to install themselves comfortably withno restrictions.

In fact, Cameroon has no laws or regulations for or against any typeonline gambling. Unlike online gambling, land-based gambling inCameroon is licensed and legal to operate. There are legislations putin pace to regulate their activities. However, the government isputting efforts to regulate the sector.

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Based on 2015 statistics by the Ministry of TerritorialAdministration and Decentralization, there are 18 licensed gamingoperators in Cameroon with majority in the towns of Douala andYaounde. According to the statistics, you have 7 casinos, 4 gamingmachine halls and 7 lottery and betting shops.

License to run a gambling business in Cameroon

Decree No 2019/2300/PM of 18 July 2019, spells out the modalities of running games of chance business in Cameroon. It puts in place the conditions, rules, regulations and procedures for obtaining a concession agreement and authorization for games of chance.
In order to carry run a casino, betting and lottery company in Cameroon, you need to have your business registered. That is why we are first going to get a basics on how to incorporate a company in Cameroon and obtain a business license.

Just like every other business, games of chance and entertainment paytaxes to the state and councils. The tax shall be paid by bothnatural persons or corporate bodies that operate a gambling businessin Cameroon as a primary or a secondary activity. It can be forwinnings in cash or kind as well as meant purely for entertainment.

Gambling business in Cameroon - the tax regulations | OpenHub Digital (2)


Specific tax provisions for casinos in Cameroon

The tax administration in Cameroon has put in place specific taxlegislation for those operating casinos in Cameroon. According to theprovisions, proceeds of the games include:

  • Counterpart games – Thedifference between the initial stakes that were put in place and theamounts actually collected at the end of the game and
  • Club games – the entireamount of the pot

The tax base for casino businesses in Cameroon comprises all gross proceeds from the games and other miscellaneous incomes that are consistent with the accounting records of each game type. It should be noted that the operator is obliged to keep accounting records for each type of game. The terms are defined by regulation.

Concession agreement for Casino, betting & lottery companies

To carry out gaming activities in Cameroon, you must:

  • have attained the age of maturity
  • have never been imprisoned for violence or threats of violence
  • Be of good morality

Games of chance in Cameroon have been put under three regimes:

  • Concession agreement
  • Issuing an Authorization
  • Declaration Agreement

Bet’s, casinos and lotteries fall under the concession agreement regime that is signed by the Minister in charge of games of chance and the promoter after getting the confirmation from the Games Regulation Agency. The duration of the concession agreement is ten (10) years and renewable under specific conditions.

It should be noted that the conditions for getting a concession agreement are the same as the ones for renewal. However, if you fail to meet up with one of the conditions, it may cause you not to get a renewal.

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Tax rate for games of chance & games of entertainment

The tax rate that is applied on casino business in Cameroon is 15% onturnover made during the tax period. As said above, the tax basecomprises all gross proceeds of the games and miscellaneous incomes.This rate applies on games of chance and games of entertainment inCameroon.

The tax shall be deducted in order to obtain the taxable income and wont be exclusive of other taxes specific to operators of this sector towards the Council area where they carry out their activities. Natural or legal persons liable to pay the tax are obliged to declare at the competent tax service of the area.

Payment of taxes & penalties

In order not to be penalized if you are running a casino business inCameroon, you have to pay your tax within fifteen days following themonth of the taxable operations. There is a special form available atthe taxation center of the operator to be filled before payment.

If the operator fails to pay on time or doesn’t pay at all, theyshall be punished according to provisions put in place in the Manualof Tax Procedures. In case the operator installs new machines withinthe fiscal year, (s)he has to file an additional tax return form andpay the tax within 30 days following the day of filing.

Tax license

Each machine is issued a tax license which is done upon presentationof a receipt at the competent tax service. The tax license must bedisplayed visibly on each machine without which a penalty will beplaced. Failure to display the tax license calls for a fine of 25,000francs CFA per machine.

Machines are divided into specific categories and each category hasits own tax license. Those who display a license for a category lowerthan required shall be obliged to pay the remainder of the tax aswell as pay a fine equivalent to 50% of the tax. Fake licenses willcarry a fine twice the amount of the tax without prejudice to legalactions that may be taken.


The case of operators who are not based in Cameroon

There’s a special provision for operators whose head office islocated out of the country. Such operators are bound to make adeposit at a bank in Cameroon. The amount of the deposit isdetermined by the Minister in Charge of Finance.

The government of Cameroon has since been using the Finance Law to regulate gambling business in Cameroon (land-based gambling in particular). However, with the advent of online gambling, inventions and innovations, gaming formats and other aspects, we should be expecting to get changes and new regulations.

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Source(s): General tax Code | Directorate General of Taxation | Latest Casino Bonuses | Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

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Is digital gambling legal? ›

Internet casino gaming remains illegal in every state that doesn't explicitly legalize the games. A player using an unregulated gambling site in any state but New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania (and soon West Virginia) is technically breaking federal law.

Is online gambling legal in Cameroon? ›

Online gambling is technically legal in Cameroon since 2019 (prior to 2019 online gambling was unregulated). Only licensed gambling companies can accept players from Cameroon. Nationale Loterie Du Cameroun sells lottery tickets online.

What is considered unlawful Internet gambling? ›

The Act prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law (termed “restricted transactions” in the Act).

What is considered online gambling? ›

Online gambling is any kind of gambling conducted on the internet. This includes virtual poker, casinos and sports betting. The first online gambling venue opened to the general public was ticketing for the Liechtenstein International Lottery in October 1994.

What are the 5 legal types of gambling? ›

California law generally recognizes the following forms of gaming: Indian casinos, cardclubs, pari-mutuel horse wagering, charitable gaming, and the state lottery.

Is online gambling legal 2022? ›

Some of the states that have legalized online gambling include Connecticut, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, and Nevada. In these locations, there are several forms of online gambling that have been legalized, including online poker and certain casino games.

Is online gambling considered money laundering? ›

Money launderers may attempt to use gambling as a quick and easy way to legalize their illicit income by placing that money in a legitimate gambling company. A common practice is the use of online gambling which is one of the newest and most common methods of money laundering.

Is online gambling real or fake? ›

As long as you are using a trusted and legitimate site, the transactions are safe as they use advanced security technology to keep the information of their players secured. If you are in India, you can enjoy playing online casino games without facing legal troubles, as long as you are not in the states that ban them.

Do I need a VPN to gamble online? ›

Even if you don't care about your privacy (you should), betting services like Stake, Roobet, bet365, or PokerStars might be unavailable in your location. Luckily, a solid gambling VPN can easily solve this issue by hiding your real IP address.

What are types of illegal gambling? ›

The five major types of illegal gambling are sports betting with bookmakers, horse betting with bookmakers, sports parlay cards, numbers, and illegal casinos. Substantial numbers of Americans engage in these activities, particularly in urban areas.

What is the punishment for gambling? ›

As noted, illegal gambling is a misdemeanor in California. You can face fines between $100 and $1000 and up to six months in jail if you are convicted. However, judges often take mitigating circumstances into account and may impose summary probation as an alternative to jail time.

What is gambling prohibited by law? ›

Pursuant to existing laws, "illegal gambling" is committed by any person who, in any manner, shall directly or indirectly take part in any game scheme, regardless of whether winning thereat is dependent upon chance or skill or both, wherein wagers consisting of money, articles of value or representative of value are at ...

Is online gambling income taxable? ›

Yes, as professional gamblers are considered to be running their own freelance businesses and using gambling as their main source of income. However, this is still a bit of a complicated area as all of a gambler's losses can be deducted from the overall taxable income.

What are the two types of gambling? ›

Gambling types are divided into two main categories: chance-based gambling. skill-based gambling.

How much taxes do you pay on online gambling? ›

If you're lucky enough to win while playing blackjack (21), baccarat, craps, roulette, or the big-6 wheel, nothing will be withheld. However, if you win $600 or more and your gross winnings are at least 300 times your wager, you will receive a W-2G and 25% of your gross winnings will be withheld.

What are the 3 types of gamblers? ›

There are three common types of gambler, the professional gambler, the social gambler, and the problem gambler. Be aware that the problem gambler will often believe themselves to be, or pretend to be, a social or professional gambler.

What are the rules of gambling? ›

10 Rules of Responsible Gambling
  • If you choose to gamble, do so for entertainment purposes. ...
  • Treat the money you lose as the cost of your entertainment. ...
  • Set a dollar limit and stick to it. ...
  • Set a time limit and stick to it. ...
  • Expect to lose. ...
  • Make it a private rule not to gamble on credit. ...
  • Create balance in your life.

What are the 3 elements of gambling? ›

Gambling consists of three elements: consideration, prize and chance. If any one of those three elements is missing, the game is simply not gambling (Rose, 1986)). Almost all jurisdictions today find there is no consideration for gambling unless players are required to spend money.

Can you gamble on internet? ›

Absolutely. Guaranteed safety is one of the major perks of gambling with a regulated online casino. The games are safe, and so is your money. Each casino that is available in your state has been specifically licensed to operate within that jurisidiction.

What countries can you legally gamble online? ›

But not all states have a casino license.
  • USA. Las Vegas in the United States is the gambling capital of the world. ...
  • Canada. Kahnawake. ...
  • UK. Regulating gambling in the UK has been among the locals for several centuries. ...
  • Ireland. ...
  • Monaco. ...
  • Belgium. ...
  • Australia. ...
  • Malta.
19 Apr 2022

What is the most popular form of online gambling? ›

As it stands, sports betting is the most widely legalized type of online gambling in the U.S. The.

Do banks check if you gamble? ›

When lenders conduct their affordability checks, they will look at your bank statements from the previous 3-6 months. This means that any gambling during this period will be seen by your potential lender. The primary concern of the lender is that you aren't getting yourself into debt by funding your gambling.

Is Bitcoin considered gambling? ›

Unless you're attending a cryptocurrency casino, we don't believe that investing in cryptocurrency is (by itself) a form of gambling. However, there are some alarming similarities to be aware of, especially if you're susceptible to problem gambling.

Why is gambling a high risk business? ›

Financial institutions face various money laundering risks and casinos are high risk sector because of its legal status.

What is the most trusted gambling site? ›

Best Gambling Sites
  • Ignition: Best gambling site overall.
  • Bovada: Best for sports betting.
  • Super Slots: Best for online slots.
  • Red Dog: Best bonuses.
  • Casino tournaments.
  • Las Atlantis: Best customer support.
  • Cafe Casino: Top pick for live casino games.
  • Everygame: Highest-paying jackpot games.
14 Oct 2022

What is the safest online gambling site? ›

Our Top #5 Safest Online Casinos
  • Las Atlantis – Regularly Audited. Las Atlantis is our no. ...
  • Wild Casino – Offers Highest Withdrawal Limits. ...
  • Vegas Casino Online – Most Transparent Casino. ...
  • BetOnline – Decades-Long Reputation. ...
  • Super Slots – Straightforward Terms & Conditions. ...
  • Licensing. ...
  • Site Security & Audits. ...
  • Game Fairness.
19 Oct 2022

What gambling app pays real money? ›

Bovada Casino App

Bovada is another top real money casino app for playing live dealer games in 2022. This online gambling app offers precisely more than 30 live dealer tables, including unbelievably varied table options for blackjack and roulette.

What happens if you use VPN to gamble? ›

If a gambling site finds out that you're using a VPN, and it's clear that using a VPN is against their terms of service, they will freeze and sometimes even terminate your account. This means you can't access your account anymore and you won't be able to cash out any winnings.

How do I change my location to gamble? ›

Select a VPN server location from your home country (where you usually access the betting site) Login into the sports betting or online gaming site and you should be able to play as usual. If you hit any issues contact the VPNs customer support. Changing VPN protocol or other settings will often solve the problem.

Do online casinos track your IP address? ›

The short answer is, Yes, they do. Most local-based casino websites are mandated by the law of the country they're operating to track and store players' IP addresses for audit purposes.

What is an example of gamble? ›

A few examples include:

Betting on billiards or pool. Card games (poker, blackjack, etc.) Private sports betting/sports lotteries (Mise-au-jeu®) Casino games (slot machines, roulette, Keno®)

How long do you go to jail for illegal gambling? ›

f) The penalty of imprisonment from fourteen (14) years and one (1) day to sixteen (16) years, if such person acts as a financier or capitalist; g) The penalty of imprisonment from sixteen (16) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years, if such person acts as protector or coddler.

Can you go to jail for cheating in gambling? ›

The most common type of casino crime is known as “cheating and swindling.” A person who purposely or knowingly commits fraud while attempting to win money at the casino can be charged with a criminal offense for cheating and swindling.

Why is gambling a crime? ›

Why Is Gambling Illegal? Gambling has long been considered a vice, associated with the likes of organized crime, money laundering, addiction, and immorality. Even federal law makes certain gambling operations illegal.

Is illegal gambling a crime? ›

If the place where gambling is carried on has a reputation of a gambling place or that prohibited gambling is frequently carried on therein, or the place is a public or government building or barangay hall, the malfactor shall be punished by prision correccional in its maximum period and a fine of six thousand pesos.

How does the government regulate gambling? ›

Gambling, though widespread in the United States, is subject to legislation at both the state and federal level that bans it from certain areas, limits the means and types of gambling, and otherwise regulates the activity.

Is gambling a serious crime? ›

The penalty for breaking this law is a fine of ₹200 or imprisonment of up to 3 months. The Act also prohibits visiting gambling houses. A fine of ₹100 or imprisonment of up to one month is the penalty.

Where is gambling not allowed? ›

In the United States, gambling is legal in 48 states in some capacity. Only Utah and Hawaii have a 100% ban on it. However, social poker games in private residences are allowed in Hawaii.

Do professional gamblers pay tax? ›

Essentially betting is “tax free” – the professional gambler is outside the scope of tax.

How much can you make gambling without paying taxes? ›

Generally, if you receive $600 or more in gambling winnings, the payer is required to issue you a Form W-2G. If you have won more than $5,000, the payer may be required to withhold 28% of the proceeds for Federal income tax.

How is gambling money taxed? ›

If your winnings are reported on a Form W-2G, federal taxes are withheld at a flat rate of 24%. If you didn't give the payer your tax ID number, the withholding rate is also 24%.

What is gambling Short answer? ›

gambling, the betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event whose result may be determined by chance or accident or have an unexpected result by reason of the bettor's miscalculation.

What are the four stages of gambling? ›

  • The Winning Phase.
  • The Losing Phase.
  • The Desperation Phase.
  • The Hopeless Phase.
12 Oct 2020

Who is a professional gambler? ›

What is Considered Professional Gambling? A professional gambler is someone who has complete control over the time, money and energy they spend on gambling. They are seen to be more skilled at gambling than other gamblers, and are considered at low risk for addiction.

How much tax do gambling companies pay? ›

Slots can be taxed anything from 5% to 25% depending on how much is earned through slot machines, whilst profits from the likes of blackjack, poker and roulette is taxed at between 15% and 50%. The success of the games is largely what dictates how much the profits will be taxed at.

What are the current tax brackets 2022? ›

For the 2022 tax year, there are seven federal tax brackets: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%. Your tax bracket is determined by your filing status and taxable income.

What happens if I don't report my gambling winnings? ›

Simply put, there is no immediate legal outcome if you fail to report your gambling winnings. Your tax office probably won't bother if you have won and failed to report anything below $1,200. This, however, doesn't mean that if you consistently win and fail to report your winnings the tax office wouldn't notice.

Can you be prosecuted for online gambling? ›

There is no federal law governing over online gambling that will charge the person with a crime. However, several state laws can increase the risk of prosecution because of possible gray legal areas.

Can I gamble online for real money? ›

Yes, you can. Most online casinos offer incentives to new and regular players alike in bonuses and free spins. Cash bonuses offered in online casinos are tied mostly to the size of the deposit you make as a first-time player or as a regular player funding your account weekly.

Is online gambling a cyber crime? ›

All cyber activities or online gambling in India are regulated under the IT Act, 2000. The act prohibits online gambling activities and prescribes a punishment for persons indulging in such activities, with a fine of Indian Rupees 100,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years.

Who investigates online gambling? ›

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act | Federal Trade Commission.

What types of gambling are illegal? ›

The five major types of illegal gambling are sports betting with bookmakers, horse betting with bookmakers, sports parlay cards, numbers, and illegal casinos. Substantial numbers of Americans engage in these activities, particularly in urban areas.

Can I gamble real money on my phone? ›

Yes. You can often log on to a gambling app on your tablet or phone with the same details as you would use if you were logging on at your PC or Mac. The games may differ by app, but your personal details won't.

Is there an app for real gambling? ›

Yes, the vast majority of modern iOS and Android casino apps offered by reputable brands let you play live blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and other live casino games on the go. How to Download Real Money Casino Apps? In most cases, casino apps are free to download directly from mobile casino sites.

What is the best gambling site? ›

Best gambling sites
RankCasinoNumber of games
#1BetMGM Casino900
#2Caesars Casino100+
#4FanDuel Casino200
6 more rows

Can the police track you with a VPN? ›

Police can't track live, encrypted VPN traffic, but if they have a court order, they can go to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and request connection or usage logs. Since your ISP knows you're using a VPN, they can direct the police to them.

Which VPN is best for online gambling? ›

Best VPNs for online betting and gambling:
  • NordVPN Best VPN for online gaming and betting sites! ...
  • Surfshark Look no further for the best budget VPN. ...
  • ExpressVPN A solid general-purpose VPN that boasts high speeds and strong privacy protections.
  • CyberGhost Easy to use and won't let you down for speed and security.
30 Nov 2022

Can you get caught on VPN? ›

If you're using a trustworthy VPN service, your browsing activities become illegible to snoopers. However, this doesn't mean a VPN user is entirely untraceable online. Internet service providers (ISPs), websites, and even governments can determine whether you're using a VPN.

Why is online gambling legal? ›

When it comes to gambling laws in the US, the activity is legal on a federal level. Meaning, each state has the right to regulate it, both in the real world and the digital sphere.

What are 5 cyber crimes? ›

Here are 5 of the top cybercrimes affecting businesses and individuals in 2022:
  • Phishing Scams.
  • Website Spoofing.
  • Ransomware.
  • Malware.
  • IOT Hacking.
3 Oct 2022

How is online gambling regulated? ›

Online casino regulation in the United States is handled by each individual state. The vast majority of states have their own department or division of gaming within the government while some have independent racing and gaming commissions.


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