The entire process of living in Zimbabwe is something of a risk at the moment, so you could imagine that there would be little desire for supporting Zimbabwe’s gambling dens. Actually, it appears to be working the other way, with the crucial economic conditions leading to a greater ambition to play, to try and find a quick win, a way out of the problems.

For almost all of the people subsisting on the tiny local money, there are two common forms of gambling, the state lotto and Zimbet. Just as with most everywhere else in the world, there is a national lottery where the odds of hitting are unbelievably small, but then the winnings are also surprisingly large. It’s been said by economists who look at the idea that many do not buy a card with a real expectation of winning. Zimbet is centered on one of the national or the British football divisions and involves predicting the outcomes of future matches.

Zimbabwe’s casinos, on the other hand, cater to the considerably rich of the country and tourists. Up until a short time ago, there was a very big tourist business, centered on safaris and visits to Victoria Falls. The market collapse and associated crime have cut into this trade.

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 Casino, which has only slot machines. The Zambesi Valley Hotel and Entertainment Center in Kariba also has just slot machines. Mutare contains the Monclair Hotel and Casino and the Leopard Rock Hotel and Casino, both of which offer table games, slot machines and video machines, and Victoria Falls houses the Elephant Hills Hotel and Casino and the Makasa Sun Hotel and Casino, both of which offer gaming machines and table games.

In addition to Zimbabwe’s gambling halls and the aforementioned mentioned lottery and Zimbet (which is considerably like a parimutuel betting system), there are a total of two horse racing complexes in the country: the Matabeleland Turf Club in Bulawayo (the second metropolis) and the Borrowdale Park in Harare.

Since the economy has contracted by more than 40% in recent years and with the connected poverty and crime that has come about, it isn’t well-known how healthy the sightseeing business which funds Zimbabwe’s gambling dens will do in the in the years to come. How many of them will still be around till things improve is basically not known.