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Uganda’s New Gambling Policy Aimed Specifically at International Gambling and Betting Operators

Uganda Finance Minister Matia Kasaija brought some clarity to the recently announced new anti-gambling policy, saying that the country is not banning gambling and betting services completely. As explained by Minister Kasaija, the crackdown is to apply only to global gambling and betting operators which offer their services in the country.

The clarification was provided after a few days ago, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni delegated to the Finance Minister for Planning David Bahati to announce that the country will stop issuance and renewal of gambling operating licenses to companies. Speaking at the closure of the 2019 Brethren Conference of Diocese of Kigezi, Minister Bahati has revealed that no further gambling and betting operating licenses will be issued by Uganda authorities for the time being.

Now, Minister Kasaija has explained that the country is not banning gambling services but according to local authorities, gambling and betting should be limited to Ugandans only. He further explained the reason why such actions would be taken, once again highlighting the fact that the ban would only apply to foreigners. As he shared, local authorities have discovered that a lot of money is being simply exported through gambling activities and they were concerned that it brings very little value to the local economy.

Uganda’s Government Wants to Bolster Gambling Regulatory Framework

President Museveni believes that local ownership is crucial, as fully-owned foreign gambling operators currently take money away from Uganda’s economy. This is one of the main reasons why the country is to ban registration of new fully-owned foreign gambling operators and is to stop the renewal of operating licenses for the ones which already offer their services to local residents.

Minister Bahati further noted that the main goal of the Government is to bolster the country’s gambling regulatory framework by thoroughly reviewing the local gambling sector so that companies which operate in it are well-regulated. He reminded that anti-gambling campaigners have tabled complaints, claiming that gambling operators appear everywhere in the country, with some of them offering their services without all necessary permissions.

Apart from that, the directive issued by President Museveni has been aimed at tackling the negative impact which excessive gambling has had on minors.

As explained by Bahati, the Government of Uganda aims to use the above-mentioned review to determine the number of gambling and betting companies which are to be granted an operating license, as well as their location.

The exact timing of the review has not yet been revealed, but the Ministry of Finance is expected to issue a special media statement on the matter. At the time when the initial announcement was made, the chairperson of the National Gaming Board Uganda, Manzi Tumubweine, confirmed that no official communication on the matter had been received yet.

For the time being, there are more than 2,000 active gambling and betting companies which operate in the country.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.