If you live in Samoa, you will likely be aware that locals are banned from gambling in local casinos, but what are the laws when it comes to online gambling? We explain more about the online gambling laws in Samoa and provide further information about where Samoan punters can turn to play real money slot games at trusted online casino sites.
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What are the pokies?
When visiting our website, you will see the term “pokies” splashed around a lot. Pokies is simply an Australian slang term for the slots, so if you see any reference to the pokies you can rest assured we are talking about the common slot machine. You can blame the confusion on the Aussie obsession with shortening every term possible, we just can’t help ourselves!
Is it legal to play online slots in Samoa?
Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa, is an Oceanic country in the South Pacific and is not to be confused with American Samoa, which is an entirely different country running on its own set of laws. While Samoa has strict rules in place regarding gambling in the country’s land based casinos, the laws regarding online gambling aren’t quite as clear.
When Samoa gained independence from New Zealand in 1962, all forms of gambling (except for the state-run lottery) were banned and remained illegal until 2010. In 2010, new laws were introduced under the Samoa Casino and Gambling Control Act which resulted in establishment of the Samoa Gambling Control Authority. The Gaming Control Authority was created to provide a legal authority responsible for overseeing the Samoan gambling industry.
Under the Act, approved resorts were given the power to offer casino gambling when granted official licensing. The Act specified that only two resorts could be issued with casino licenses within the first 10 year period, with new licenses not expected to be issued until 2020. The land based casinos licensed in Samoa are off-limits to local Samoans, allowing only foreign tourists to gamble there.
In Samoa, the only legal form of gambling an individual can participate in is the state lottery. However, there is nothing under the Samoa Casino and Gambling Control Act that specifically mentions online gambling, so technically there are loopholes that make it legal for Samoans to gamble on the Internet. Samoa as a country has a low internet penetration rate, which has probably helped it to stay off the radar of online gambling regulations for so long and therefore a majority of online casino vendors continue to welcome Samoan players to their sites.
Unless Samoa updates the Gambling Control Act to include online gambling restrictions, Samoan players can assume it is relatively safe to play at an online casino, provided it is licensed offshore. Be aware that it is up to you to know the laws that apply to you, and we strongly recommend using a trusted VPN (virtual private network) service when choosing to play real money slots online.
Best online slot sites for Samoan players
Given the loose governance of online gambling providers in Samoa, some of the best online casinos cater to the Samoan market. The only sites you should trust are those licensed offshore and running under the laws set by a trusted gambling jurisdiction, like the UK, Malta, Curacao, Alderney, Kahnawake, Gibraltar and Isle of Man.
The online slot sites recommended on our page are all highly reputable, run by respected names in the online casino industry and adhere to regulations enforced by world-class gambling jurisdictions. These secure venues offer hundreds of slot games from all the best slot software providers, like Microgaming, NetEnt, BetSoft, iSoftBet, Play’n Go, Playtech, Quickspin and many others. Slot game are available to play directly over your Web browser, with no downloads required, with a selection of games also optimised for mobile play.
Our top five online slot sites for Samoan players are:
For a full list of the top-rated online slot sites catering to Samoan players, refer to the casino table at the top of this page which has been geo-targeted to recognise your location. You can use this table to read detailed reviews of all our recommended slot sites, and sign up using our links to get access to some exclusive welcome bonuses.
How to play for real money using Samoan tālā
Playing slots for real money online is easy. All that’s required of you is to sign up for an account with a trusted casino like the ones recommended on our site, and then go to the casino’s banking section to make a real money deposit. Common deposit options available at online casinos include credit card, debit card, direct bank transfer, web wallet (Neteller, Skrill, ecoPayz) or pre-paid card (Paysafecard, Flexepin, Entropay Virtual Visa). The deposit options and deposit limits available vary from venue to venue, so check that your chosen casino accepts payment using your preferred deposit method before signing up for an account.
While you may be able to sign up for an account using your local currency, deposits using Samoan tālā (WST) are not widely accepted, so you may be subject to currency conversion fees when depositing and withdrawing money. You can always speak to the customer service team at the best Samoa online casinos using their live chat function for more details.