Ugandans wagered at least Shs2.1 trillion in sports and related bets in the halfway year to 2023, according to the National Gaming and Lotteries Regulatory Board the amount is almost equal to the Shs2.4 trillion that the National Gaming and Lotteries Regulatory Board says was gambled in the 2022/23 financial year, and could double by the end of the current financial year in June.

Speaking in an interview in Kampala at the weekend, Mr Denis Ngabirano, the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board CEO said that the gaming and betting industry had grown both in turnover and tax contribution due to increased compliance and licensing.

The growth, he said, had also boosted tax revenue, which in the 2022/23 financial year had almost tripled, growing by an average of 25.3% in the last four financial years from the 2019/2020 financial year.

“In terms of the monies staked or turnover, last financial year Ugandans staked Shs2.4 trillion. That was the total amount. In this first half of the current financial year, we have a total of Shs2.1 trillion. We are seeing an increase in turnover, and also a tax increase. This is a result of our dedicated compliance activities with URA,” he said.

However, Mr Ngabirano did not indicate how much betting, gaming, and lotteries companies paid out against successful bets.

Betting and gaming have been growing, boosted by a rise in viewership of different sports activities in the last two decades. The growth, Mr Ngabirano said has also largely been due to an increase in the number of licensed betting and gaming houses, which currently stand at 45 companies.

During the 2022/23 financial year, according to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Annual Data Book published last week, the government is increasingly profiting from betting and gaming, doubling projected revenue for the financial year ending June 2023.

During the period, URA data indicates, the government earned Shs 75b as taxable revenue from betting, which was 46.9% above the Shs35.2b target, and substantially above the Shs19b earned in the 2019/20 financial year. The growth has also been boosted by a shift in betting and gambling technology, with many companies establishing 24-hour online betting and gaming sites.

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