Shortly after the arrival of explorer Vasco de Gama in 1498, Mozambique was colonized by Portugal. For almost 500 years the country was ruled by Portugal until it gained independence in 1975 to officially become the People's Republic of Mozambique. However, it wasn't until 1994 the country became politically stable following a protracted civil war.
As a result, it was also in 1994, after the country's first democratic multi-party election that gambling became officially legal.
However whilst it was now legal, there were a number of restrictions in place. For instance, all casinos were required to be at least 50km away from a city, could only be built as part of a luxury hotel with at least 250 rooms and there was a minimum company investment requirement of $15million.
Gambling nowadays in Mozambique
This all changed quite unexpectedly in 2009 when Armando Guebuza, the President of Mozambique, signed into law an amendment to the 1994 gambling act that changed the face of the gambling industry in the country. The amendments mean that nowadays:
- Casinos can be built anywhere in the country.
- Casinos no longer have to be part of a luxury hotel with 250 rooms. They can now "be built in association" with hotels that rate at least four stars (or a five star rating in Mozambique's capital and largest city, Maputo).
- The minimum company investment required has been almost halved to $8million.
- Slot machines can be placed outside of gambling establishments (for instance, shopping malls).
- Online gambling has been legalized.