Malawi, a landlocked and mountainous former British colony in Southern Africa, is a favorite with tourists due to its incredible scenery, the great opportunities it offers for hiking and trekking in its national parks, and the chance to see African wildlife at its numerous game reserves. Yet, the country also enjoys the facilities of two casinos based in the country’s main cities, Lilongwe and Blantyre.
Lilongwe, with a population of around 400,000, has been the capital city of Malawi since 1971, and it is where all government institutions, including the Ministries and Parliament, are located. Its casino, the larger of the two Malawi casinos, is the American Palace Pirates casino. It has 100 slot machines, including video poker machines and eight gaming tables, playing blackjack and roulette. There is also a restaurant and bar. Children over five years old are welcome to accompany adults, as there is a special amusement arcade for their enjoyment, with 15 video games.
In July 2006, the Malawi Times reported a local gambler at the American Palace Pirates casino won a record 2.3 million Kwacha, which is equivalent to $16,000, on a bet of 500 Kwacha, which is equivalent to just $3. This is the largest amount known to be paid out by a slot machine at any of the Malawi casinos, although the casino’s general manager said that payouts of 600,000 Kwacha to 800,000 Kwacha were relatively common.
The second Malawi casino is based in Blantyre, the country’s largest city and commercial capital (and location of the nation’s Supreme Court). Blantyre has a population of over 600,000 and there are two flights a day on Air Malawi from Lilongwe, or a five-hour coach journey.
The city’s casino, located at the Colony Club, Victoria Avenue, opened in December 2002 and offers gamblers 4,306 square feet of gaming opportunities. It has 32 slot machines and 7 gaming tables. There are a wide range of games on offer – American Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Raise’em Poker (a variant similar to Texas Hold’em). It also offers a Race Book and a Sports Book. It is open from 6 pm until “late” and has a bar, and Livingstones Restaurant for when gamblers want a rest.
So, a visitor to Malawi’s cities will not be lacking opportunities for gambling in the two Malawi casinos, whether in the American Palace Pirates casino in Lilongwe, or the Colony Club casino in Blantyre. All that needs to be said is good luck!