14 Feb 23

The prospect of living in Zimbabwe is something of a risk at the moment, so you could imagine that there might be very little appetite for going to Zimbabwe’s gambling halls. In fact, it seems to be functioning the opposite way around, with the awful economic circumstances creating a greater desire to wager, to try and discover a quick win, a way from the crisis.

For nearly all of the people surviving on the abysmal nearby wages, there are 2 popular types of betting, the state lottery and Zimbet. As with almost everywhere else on the globe, there is a national lotto where the probabilities of hitting are unbelievably small, but then the prizes are also very high. It’s been said by economists who study the concept that the lion’s share don’t purchase a card with a real expectation of winning. Zimbet is built on either the local or the British football leagues and involves determining the outcomes of future matches.

Zimbabwe’s gambling dens, on the other foot, cater to the incredibly rich of the state and vacationers. Up till a short while ago, there was a very large sightseeing industry, founded on safaris and trips to Victoria Falls. The market collapse and associated conflict have cut into this market.

Amongst Zimbabwe’s casinos, there are two in the capital, Harare, the Carribea Bay Resort and Casino, which has five gaming tables and slots, and the Plumtree gambling hall, which has just the slots. The Zambesi Valley Hotel and Entertainment Center in Kariba also has just one armed bandits. Mutare has the Monclair Hotel and Casino and the Leopard Rock Hotel and Casino, the pair of which contain table games, one armed bandits and video poker machines, and Victoria Falls houses the Elephant Hills Hotel and Casino and the Makasa Sun Hotel and Casino, the pair of which has video poker machines and tables.

In addition to Zimbabwe’s gambling dens and the above mentioned lottery and Zimbet (which is quite like a parimutuel betting system), there are also 2 horse racing complexes in the country: the Matabeleland Turf Club in Bulawayo (the 2nd metropolis) and the Borrowdale Park in Harare.

Given that the market has contracted by more than forty percent in the past few years and with the connected deprivation and conflict that has cropped up, it is not known how well the tourist industry which supports Zimbabwe’s casinos will do in the near future. How many of the casinos will be alive until things get better is merely not known.

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