Kiribati Bookmakers

Gambling is one of the most interesting and developing activities closely related to bookmakers and sports betting in Kiribati, which is a small island state in the central part of the Pacific Ocean. The laws regarding gambling have not remained stagnant and have gradually developed into a unique structure that now regulates both the conventional and the online betting systems. This paper looks at the specific legal framework of gaming in Kiribati with emphasis on Kiribati bookmakers and sports betting.

Kiribati Bookmakers

1892: British protectorate established.

1912: Crown colony status.

1979: Independence and renaming to Kiribati.

1988: Gaming and Lotteries Act comes into force.

2014: First international championship gold medal.

History of the Laws on Gambling in Kiribati

The contemporary system of the gambling legislation in Kiribati was developed in the second half of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. Here are some critical milestones:

  • 1892: Some of the islands in the Gilbert group and all the islands of the Ellice group became British “protectorates. ”
  • 1912: The islands were then declared as a crown colony.
  • 1979: Kiribati became an independent state and the country was rednamed Kiribati.

Despite the fact that the local gambling laws were not derived from the UK legislation, Kiribati’s legal framework regarding gambling is anchored on the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1988.

Gaming and Lotteries Act 1988

The principal Act regulating the gambling business in Kiribati is the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1988. Here’s what it encompasses:

  • Games of Chance: Stated as events whose results are uncertain and are not influenced by the player’s skills, however, not including sports, lotteries, or prize competitions.
  • Lotteries: Here it is allowed to include such things as raffles, the sweepstake, and other similar things.
  • Prize Competitions: Competition that are won by individuals through luck and the performance during the competition.

What is more, this Act doesn’t contain a reference to online gambling as it was adopted before the widespread use of the internet.

Regulatory Agencies

There is no Act that defines a particular body that is responsible for the regulation of gambling in Kiribati. Because there are no clear guidelines in place, both land-based and online gambling are affected in a negative way.

Prohibited and Allowed Bets

Under the Gaming and Lotteries Act, specific types of gambling are legal:

  • Legal:
  • Betting activities, lottery and other similar activities (as well as certain sports and competitions).
  • Lotteries
  • Prize competitions
  • Illegal:
  • Not defined in the Act but can be assumed that it covers all forms of gambling not authorized by the Act.

Gambling Licenses and Fees

The societies must obtain permits for engaging in legal gambling activities. The Act does not state the fees for these licenses and also does not cover the online gambling licenses, thus creating a loophole in the Act.

Gambling Taxes

The Act does not outline gambling taxes and hence, any taxes related to gambling can only be deduced from other laws in the-country. This lack of clarity affects the revenue collection and regulation enforcement because.

Kiribati Bookmakers and Sports Betting

Although the act known as the Gaming and Lotteries Act has a set of rules for real-world betting, it does not address cyberspace. This gap has led to several outcomes:

  • There are no local online casinos that are based in Nigeria.
  • Kiribati players using the foreign online betting sites

Sporting Event Glory Milestones

Despite the lack of local online casinos, Kiribati has seen success in international sports, which indirectly feeds into the sports betting culture:

  • 1998: Kiribati become member of the commonwealth games.
  • 2004: Kiribati took part in the Olympic Games.
  • 2014: David Katoatau won the gold in weightlifting at the commonwealth games.
  • 2016: Teitiota Teariki got the third place in the men’s 50m freestyle swimming event of the Summer Olympics.
  • 2019: The national rugby team had a good performance and emerged victorious winning the gold medal at the Pacific Games.


The current legal framework of Kiribati and the absence of contemporary legislation and regulation in relation to bookmakers and sports betting can be used to explain the country’s approach to gambling. The Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1988 is the main act that regulates the field, but it does not cover the specifics of online gambling. Thus, Kiribati citizens have to rely on the international websites for their betting activities.

To be able to comprehend Kiribati’s gambling laws, it is imperative for anyone interested in participating in or setting up betting activities in the country. Since the global trends and the attention towards online gambling is growing there could be future amendments of legislation to define and regulate this sphere. For now, Kiribati remains an exception in the region with its rather special legal framework that still regulates the country’s gambling industry with numerous lacunas that are important for both local and foreign investors to know.

FAQ – Kiribati Bookmakers

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