Pape Gueye and Lamine Camara both scored early in either half for the defending champions, who are once again fancied to go all the way at AFCON, as Gambia had a man sent off and Camara netted a late third.
However the viewing experience for those not in the Ivorian capital of Yamoussoukro was far from an enjoyable one, with the global TV feed failing for about a quarter of the match.
From the 25th minute to the start of the second half, broadcasters the world over were forced to explain the lack of action to viewers with commentary also absent for much of the game.
On the pitch, Group C began in expected fashion with Senegal not taking long to get on the scoresheet when Marseille midfielder Gueye fired home from Sadio Mane's lay-off for his first international goal.
Cardiff's Ebou Adams was dismissed in first-half stoppage time after a VAR review for a studs-up challenge.
Senegal, unlike rivals for the AFCON crown Egypt, then built on their early advantage with a 52nd-minute second via the 20-year-old Camara, who made the most of Gambia's lack of numbers to dart into the box and finish low.
Habib Diallo nearly made it 3-0 from close range before Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson came off the bench to take advantage of the ample space on offer to the Lions. Played in over the top, his drive at goal was well blocked by goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye.
But it was another substitute, Iliman Ndiaye, who had a key hand in the third goal by delicately swivelling around his marker to tee up Camara for the Metz midfielder to curl an effort into the top corner from 25 yards.