Online gambling in Cameroon or Online betting can be defined as a game or betting in which participation is done exclusively through an online public communication service.
Any bet or game engaged in through terminals used exclusively or mainly for providing gaming or betting services, and open to gamblers in private premises open to the public shall not constitute online gambling in Cameroon.
In essence, for gambling to be considered as online gambling in Cameroon, it must be EXCLUSIVELY done ONLINE and not through any terminal or private premises.
LEGAL INSTRUMENTS REGULATING ONLINE GAMBLING IN CAMEROON
- Law n°2015/012 of July 16th,2015 laying down regulations governing entertainment games, money games and games of chances;
- Decree n°2019/2300/PM of July 18th,2019 specifying the terms of application of law n°2015/012 of July 16th, 2015 laying down regulations governing entertainment games, money games and games of chances;
- CEMAC Regulation N°01/03-CEMAC-UMAC relating to the prevention and suppression of money laundering and financing of terrorism in Central Africa.
KEY POINTS TO NOTE:
I. According to Law n°2015/012 , the activity of entertainment games, money games and game of chances shall be subject to one of the following regimes:
- Concession regime which regulates the operation of casinos, betting and public lotteries;
- Authorization regime which regulates the operation of entertainment games, commercial games and online games;
- Declaration regime which regulates the organization of occasional or private lotteries.
Therefore, gleaned from the above law, to operate online gambling in Cameroon, you must obtain an authorization regime.
Whosoever operates an online gaming activity without authorization shall be punished with imprisonment from six (06) months to two (02) years or a fine from five million (5,000,000fcfa) to twenty-five million (25,000,000fcfa) or both imprisonment and fine.
II. Following the provisions of decree n°2019/2300/PM of July 18th,2019 specifying the terms of application of law n°2015/012 of July 16th, 2015 laying down regulations governing entertainment games, money games and games of chances, an applicant must comply, amongst others, with the following conditions in order to secure an online gambling authorization:
- Must have a representation in Cameroon;
- Must provide a bank caution of 200,000,000fcfa (approximately $310,000);
- Must have its gaming regulations certified by a bailiff;
- Must have a website whose domain name ends with “.cm’’;
- Must ensure all payments area done exclusively online via a payment service provider;
- Must have data protection rules applicable to users visiting its website;
- Must have a civile liability insurance coverage.
The authorization shall be issued by the Ministry of Territorial Administration for a period of five (05) years renewable upon request. It shall not be transferable to any third party.
Whosoever uses an authorization to operate an online game belonging to another shall be punished with imprisonment from six (06) months to two (02) years or a fine from five million (5,000,000cfa) to twenty-five million (25,000,000cfa) or both imprisonment and fine.
III. ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COMPLIANCE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING COMPANIES
As prescribed by the CEMAC Regulation N01/03 CEMAC -UMAC relating to the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism in Central Africa, online gambling establishments are enjoined to submit, before commencing operations, an activity statement to the National Agency for Financial Investigation indicating the proof of origin of funds.
Moreso, they are required to record and keep for at least five years all transactions done by its users and report suspicious transactions that can be linked to a crime or offense or considered as money laundering.