Uganda Gaming Board introduces a Central monitoring System

In a move to revolutionize gaming oversight, the Government of the Republic of Uganda, represented by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MOFDED) and the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board, has entered into a transformative partnership with M/s Comtrade D.O.O and MTA Computers Ltd. The collaboration has resulted in the development of a National Central Electronic Monitoring System, a strategic initiative in line with Section 61 of the Lotteries and Gaming Act, 2016.

The system will address key challenges within the gaming and betting industry, and offer solutions that range from enhanced compliance and increased revenue collection, improved enforcement and prioritising responsible gaming.

Key Features of the National Central Electronic Monitoring System:

Enhanced Compliance Mechanisms:

Standardized reporting through various modules will ensure regulatory compliance across the gaming and betting sector.

Increased Revenue Collection:

Real-time monitoring of financial and non-financial transactions closes gaps in revenue collection, curbing tax evasion, and increasing financial transparency.

The Revenue

Collections from the sector have grown from shs 17.4Bn in FY 2015/2016 to 151.9Bn in FY 2022/2023. It is projected that UGX 160Bn will be collected in FY 2023/2024 and UGX 300Bn in FY 2024/2025.

Strengthened Enforcement Measures:

The system’s modules provide detailed insights into both online and offline gaming activities, empowering the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board to enforce effectively.

Commitment to Responsible Gaming:

The Player Protection Module will  emphasize responsible gaming, protecting citizens from the adverse effects of gaming which is the main mandate of the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board by offering timely intervention measures.

Implementation Timeline and Milestones

The Online Reporting Module is already complete, with operators integrating onto the system.

Comtrade D.O.O, the consulting partner, has commenced the land-based assessment and is set to develop the associated module.

The entire system is expected to be fully operational by the end of June 2024.

The Board, in collaboration with strategic partners, continues to champion innovation for a more secure, transparent, and responsible gaming environment.

Source: National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board Uganda (NLGRB)

Tanzania’s Gaming Industry Licensing and Regulatory Framework

Who is the regulator of the gaming Industry in Tanzania?

The gaming industry in Tanzania is regulated by the Gaming Board of Tanzania (the “Gaming Board”) established by section 4 of the Gaming Act CAP 41 Revised Edition 2019. The Gaming Board is responsible for overseeing, monitoring, and regulating gaming activities in Tanzania. It has the duty and powers to carry out operations and management of the gaming activities which includes issuing different types of gaming licenses and certificates under section 26 of the Gaming Act and Regulation 12 of the Gaming Regulations GN—no 385 of 2003.

Types of gaming in Tanzania regulated and licensed by the Gaming Board?

Sports betting (Retail and Online) is the major type of gaming in Tanzania followed by online and land-based casinos, virtual games, retail & SMS lottery, and street slot machine operations.

Types of legal online gaming accepted in Tanzania?

  • Sports betting
  • Online casino games
  • Virtual games
  • Scratch cards

Types of gaming licenses provided in Tanzania?

  • Casino license for conducting table games and slot machines;
  • Slot machines license for promotion of slot machines business in a shop;
  • Manufacturer’s certificate for manufacturing of gaming equipment including its spare parts;
  • Seller’s or distributor’s license for supplying, selling, or servicing gaming equipment;
  • Accreditation license for a person engaged in non-gaming activity within gaming premises;
  • Support license, required for a person employed in the gaming activities or a gaming employee;
  • Online casino license for conducting casino games through remote devices with internet connection;
  • SMS lottery license for conducting SMS Lotteries
  • Principal license for sports betting and slot machines operations;
  • Online sports betting license;
  • Retail sports betting license;
  • National lottery license to conduct national lottery;
  • Lottery licence issued pursuant to section 41(3) to conduct business lotteries;
  • Service provider license to provide services on gaming operations;
  • Gaming consultancy license;
  • Virtual games license

  Application and gaming license fees

Type of license Application fee per year License fee per year
Online casinoTZS 1,000,000USD 40,000
Retail casinoTZS 1,000,000USD 40,000
Online sports bettingTZS 500,000USD 30,000
Retail sports bettingTZS 500,000TZS 1,000,000
Route operations
(Slot machines in shop premise)
No Longer issuedNo Longer Issued
Slot machines (clubs and bars)No Longer issuedNo Longer issued
Forty machines site
SMS lotteryTZS 500,000USD 30,000
National lotteryTZS 1,000,000USD 50,000
Service providerTZS 500,000TZS 1,000,000
Key employeeTZS 10,000TZS 50,000
Support employeeTZS 10,000
Manufacturer certificateTZS 500,000TZS 1,000,000
Sellers/distributors/suppliersTZS 500,000TZS 1,000,000
Retailers on gaming premisesTZS 100,000 Casino
AccreditationTZS 10,000

Key Notes

  1. Amount only applicable to casinos in Dar es Salaam (At the moment casino licenses aren’t issued for Dar es Salaam). In other regions of the country the amount is USD 15,000
  2. Amount only applicable to casinos in Dar es Salaam. In other regions of the country the amount is TZS 2,000,000
  • A company that already has a license to promote lottery for business purposes (not national lottery) and decides to apply for national lottery as well the amount is USD 40,000

Eligibility criteria for obtaining a gaming license

An applicant for a gaming license has to meet the following criteria under regulation 3 of the Gaming Regulations:

  • Has never been previously denied a gaming licence in Mainland Tanzania or any other country
  • Has never had a gaming licence revoked or suspended nor have they withdrawn an application for any gaming licence in Mainland Tanzania or any other country;
  • The applicant must have a clean criminal record;
  • The applicant must provide evidence of adequate funding available to pay all obligations and gaming operations;
  • Must possess gaming premises that are deemed suitable by the Gaming Board. Unsuitable locations for gaming activities are places of immediate vicinity of any school, place of worship, hospitals, national security, residential areas, places allowing minor clientele and places difficult to police;
  • Must comply with all the provisions of the Gaming Act and the Gaming Regulations.

The process of obtaining a gaming license

                                         Process to obtain a gaming license
Steps Activities Timeframe
1.Submit documents to the Gaming Board to process application1.     Two copies of Business Plan/Feasibility
Study
. Should contain a clear statement of project objectives, applicants’ profile, details
of investment costs and how the proposed investment will be financed (name the specific sources of funds and their contacts, terms
and conditions of the loans if applicable), sources of technology if applicable and gaming equipment, market study, expected employment generation,projected financial and economic analysis including projected annual balance sheets and income statements for the first four years, proposed implementation schedule, and

any other information that will useful for the determination of the application.

2.     Duly filled application forms and application fees paid

 

3.     Duly filled Personal Declaration Form for each Director

 

4.     A copy of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association

 

5.     A certified copy of the Certificate of Company Incorporation.

6.     Evidence of sufficient finance capital5 available for the implementation of the project.

7.     Proof of citizenship of every incorporator/ subscriber, and every director and senior officer. This includes detailed Curriculum Vitae, photocopy of the first five pages of a passport, a passport size photograph and historical background.

8.     Audited Balance Sheets and Income Statement of every incorporator/subscriber and every director and senior officer.

Within 30 days from the date of receipt of an application, Gaming Board will approve/ disapprove application

Key Notes

  • All application fees are non-refundable
  • There should be a minimum investment capital for a foreign company of USD 500,000 proven to exist for the investment in Tanzania. A minimum investment capital for a local company of USD 300,000 proven to exist for the investment in Tanzania.
9. Tax Clearance from the Income Tax office of a country of origin of the applicant and every director and senior officer.

10. Statement from two persons (not relatives) vouching for the good moral character and financial responsibility of the incorporators/ subscribers and the proposed directors and senior officers.

11. Company Board of Directors’ resolution to invest in Tanzania.

For internet gaming licence, addition of the following documents;
12. Anti-bribe pledge form.
13. Responsible gaming guidelines.

14. Application forms prescribed in the Internet Gaming Regulation for each director or shareholder with 5% of ownership or controlling interest in the applicant company.

15. Detailed information about the service provider, structure and equipment and services to be offered.

16. Description of technology and its source.

2.On receipt of application, the Gaming Board will undertake an investigation to determine applicant’s suitability1.     A vetting process of the shareholders, directors and business

2.     Applicants (except support employee’s licences) are to pay for the investigation costs6 as determined by the Gaming Board

3.     In addition, applicants shall pay to the Gaming Board transportation and its related costs together with significant office expenses and other related expenses until the conclusion of the investigation.

The investigation shall be concluded upon the issuance of an initial order of grant or denial of the licence by Gaming Board.
3.Gaming Board to grant Gaming License1. On condition applicant has met all requirements including payment of fees and costsThe Gaming licence shall be valid for one year subject to renewal.
  • The applicant shall deposit to the Gaming Board such amount as may be sufficient for that purpose.

Gaming Taxes for all types of gaming in TZ

The Gaming tax is charged on these types of gaming namely; Casinos, Sports Betting, SMS Lottery, National Lottery, Street slot Machines, Forty Machines Site, Virtual games and other gaming products.

  1. Sports Betting, online and retail is taxed at the rate of 25% of Gross Gaming Revenue with 15% on net winnings of players. The 5% of the tax remitted shall be allocated to the Sports Development Fund.
  2. SMS Lotteries, Forty Machines Sites and Internet Casino operations are taxed at the rate of 25% of Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) with 15% on net winnings;
  • Street slot machines are taxed TZS 100,000 per machine per month with 15% on net winnings;
  1. National Lotteries is taxed 20% of Gross Gaming Revenue with 15% on net winnings;
  2. Casino operations are taxed at the rate of 18% of the weekly Gross Gaming Revenue and all land-based casinos are taxed at the rate of 12% on net winnings.
  3. Virtual games are taxed at the rate of 10% of the Gross Gaming Revenue and 15% rate on net winnings.
  • Other gaming products under section 51 are taxed at the rate of 10% of the Gross Gaming Revenue and 15% on net winnings.

Additional features can be found in our complete feasibility market reports which we can arrange at a request that includes but not limited to;

  • Estimated Market overview
  • Main players, their products and models of operations
  • Taxation frameworks
  • Repatriation of funds policy
  • Double Trade agreements (DTAs)
  • Regulatory frameworks (Existing, new and upcoming)
  • Business plan based on the type of gaming

 

South Africa casino

The Constitutional Court of South Africa (Concourt) voided Tax levies by the North West Province Gambling Board.

The Constitutional Court confirmed a judgment by the High Court in Mahikeng, South Africa that found increased gambling levies imposed on Sun International and Peermont Global in North West province were constitutionally invalid and must be repaid to these two casino operators. I.e.

Sun International which is licensed to operate the Sun City Casino in the province, and until February 2022 also operated the Carousel Casino in Hammanskraal and Peermont Global which operates the Palms Casino and Rio Casino in Mmabath.

The unanimous judgment was handed down by the Constitutional Court by Judge Tati Makgoka, with Judges Raymond Zondo, Jody Kollapen, Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Steven Majiedt, Sulet Potterill, Owen Rogers, Leona Theron, and Acting Justice Van Zyl concurring.

The judgment confirmed that the declaration of constitutional invalidity made by the High Court in Mahikeng of various sections of the North West Gambling Act to the extent that they purport to authorize the North West Province Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Economic Development, Environment, Conservation, and Tourism to impose gambling levies as a tax as contemplated in the Constitution. It said the declaration of invalidity is effective from 23 January 2020.

MECs must pay up

The MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism and the MEC for Provincial Treasury were ordered to pay the two operators the difference between the gambling levies they paid in terms of a regulation of the North West Gambling Regulations 2002 from 23 January 2020 to the date of the judgment, and the gambling levies that would have been payable during that period had the regulation not been amended.

They were also ordered to pay interest at the prescribed rate on the gambling levy amounts already paid by the two companies.

The two MECs and the North West Gambling Board were further ordered to pay the court costs of the Casino Association of South Africa, Peermont Global, and Sun International, which brought the application contesting the lawfulness of the increased levies.

This application led to the High Court in Mahikeng earlier declaring certain empowering provisions in the North West Gambling Act invalid and unconstitutional.

Power, payment, protest

These provisions concerned empowering the MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Conservation, and Tourism to make regulations prescribing the gambling levies that licensed casino operators in North West are required to pay.

The order of the high court followed an amendment to a regulation of the North West Gambling Act by this MEC relying on the empowering provisions.

The effect of the amendment was to substantially increase the gambling levies payable by licensed casino operators in the province.

Another regulation of the North West Gambling Act stipulates that if a gaming levy is not paid under the regulation, a penalty is payable at 1% per day up to a maximum of 100%.

Peermont and Sun International, as a result of these provisions, paid the levies under protest under the amendment and were subject to a full reservation of their rights, including the right to claim repayment of the difference between the levies that would have been payable had the regulation not been amended.

Regulation amendment

 The regulation amendment was a culmination of a process that commenced in November 2018 when the North West Gambling Board published for comment a proposed amendment to a regulation in terms of which there would be a levy increase.

The Casino Association of South Africa raised several objections to the proposed amendment and made extensive representations to the North West Gambling Board.

The MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Conservation, and Tourism promulgated a second version of the amendment to the regulation on 15 February 2019, but it merely corrected typographical errors in the draft published in November 2018.

The MEC subsequently promulgated the amendments on 23 and 24 January 2020, which in all material respects were the same as the first proposed amendment published in November 2018.

The North West Gambling Board notified casino licensees in the province on 3 February 2020 about the amendment and that they should pay the prescribed amended tariffs with effect from 1 February 2020.

Judge Makgoka said significant revenue to the North West province is undoubtedly generated by the gambling levies imposed by a regulation of the North West Gambling Act, and these gambling levies are raised as general revenue for the province’s service delivery obligations.

He said the North West Gambling Board’s annual report for 2016/17 showed that the taxes and levies collected by the board for the 2016 financial year totaled R120.78 million and for the 2017 financial year R139 million.

Makgoka said this report also shows that similar amounts were transferred from the North West Gambling Board to the Provincial Revenue Fund for those financial years and this is also evident in the board’s annual reports for 2014/15, 2015/2016, and 2018/2019 financial years.

He concluded that there is insufficient nexus between the gambling levies authorized by the provisions of the North West Gambling Act and imposed by regulation to the act on the one hand, and the regulatory scheme of the act on the other hand.

It follows that the gambling levies are constitutionally invalid,” he said.

Makgoka added that it is common cause that Peermont Global and Sun International paid the gambling levies under protest and, once the declaration of unconstitutionality and invalidity of the empowering provisions is confirmed, the amendment must be deemed as if it was never promulgated. He said the two companies paid more in respect of the gambling levies than was legally required and only because of the severe consequences attached to non-payment of the levies, including the revocation of a casino license.

Makgoka said just and equitable relief should generally be aimed at correcting or reversing the consequences of unconstitutional action, adding that the consequences of invalidity can only be corrected if the gambling levies paid according to the unlawful amended regulation are repaid to Peermont Global and Sun International.

Source: Money Wire

The rapid growth of Online casino games in Africa

Although Africa does not have a uniform set of gaming laws that govern the entire continent, online gambling is experiencing an incredible rise, and at the moment, the focus is on mobile. More and more gamblers are using their smartphones for wagering, and thanks to that, the online casino industry is expected to surpass traditional land-based gambling in revenue. 

The Growth of Online Gambling In Africa

The growth of online gambling in Africa is mostly backed by the increased availability of smartphones on the continent and the increase in internet penetration which blew out during over 24 months of lockdown across most African countries that came as a result of covid-19 outbreak. By the end of 2020, there were close to 495 million smartphone owners, which is almost half of the population. Moreover, the rise continued during the pandemic, as the third quarter of 2021 faced the arrival of 26 million smartphones to the African continent.

The increased smartphone ownership boosted the growth of online casino gaming, especially in countries like South Africa where the mobile device penetration is expected to reach 67% by 2026, the region is also experiencing more stable internet connections than ever, especially in countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Morocco, Ethiopia, and Egypt where the coverage is booming. For example, in 2020, there were 154 million internet users in Nigeria only, and the number continues to rise.

What’s making online casino games so Popular?

Online casino games are getting more attention from African players than ever, mainly because the majority were forced to bet online for over 24 months as all retail operations in most markets were shut down to reduce the spread of COVID-19 paving the way for online casino games and also tremendously increased both internet and mobile phone penetration.

In addition to the above, there was a period of time when all sports games were halted to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 which left most sportsbooks without sports data to provide for sports betting thus leaving players to resort to virtual sports and online casino games which paved the way for the majority to play online casino games.

Most African iGaming players realized the convenience of Using a mobile app for online gambling as it allowed them to enjoy their favorite time on the go, any time they wanted, which was totally different from retail/land-based gaming where they would have to dedicate time to go and visit a physical venue. Moreover, going to a land-based establishment sometimes also means waiting in lines to get a seat at a particular table or a slot machine, which is not the case with gaming on mobile phones. Digital gambling has no limits when it comes to the number of seats and the availability of games. As long as players have a proper mobile device and a stable internet connection, they can have fun whenever they wish. Also, internet gambling adds more privacy and a greater feeling of security to the whole experience, since players don’t have to be surrounded by fellow punters as they play, The Majority of Africans discovered all this during covid-19 pandemic which somehow heavily contributed to the rapid growth we see across most key markets.

Attractive Bonuses

Mobile gamers enjoy the incredible offerings of bonus rewards and promotions. From the moment a punter opens up an account, they continuously receive different prizes, and some of them do not even require real money deposits. All the top casino sites continue racing to attract new users and keep the existing ones with promotions like deposit bonuses, free spins, cash rewards, and many others. Some platforms also developed VIP programs where the members are treated with premium rewards that cannot be claimed by regular users. However, each operator has its own set of rules that control the use of bonuses, and before punters claim any of the rewards, they must follow all key terms and conditions.

Variety of Games

The large list of online casino games from various providers – from classics like pokers, roulettes, slots, and blackjack, to more advanced options like video poker and live dealer sessions, everything at fingertips continues to influence this growth.

Mobile and Internet Penetration as of 2022 and 2023 in key African iGaming Markets

CountryMobile phone connections as of 2022 (Millions)Internet Users as of 2023 (Millions)
Nigeria199.6122
South Africa108.643
Kenya64.917
Ethiopia58.520
Tanzania53.821
Ghana44.923
Uganda27.611

Reach out to us at info@geniusgamingconsult.com for feasibility market studies for any of the above-mentioned markets and the rest of Africa with in-depth infographics about the stature of each of the key markets in terms of online casinos, main players, their estimated market shares, current providers/games, Bonuses and promotions, Modes of payments, etc. we also conduct business development for and on behalf of B2B providers planning to expand into Africa.

Kenya has introduced a Gambling Bill in an effort to establish a new Gambling Regulatory Authority.

The bill is now before the Parliament with its future yet to be decided, Kenya is on the path to significant gambling reforms. Under a new bill, the East African country is set to establish a new regulatory body and overhaul its gambling rules.

The measure, dubbed Gambling Control Bill 2023, would replace the Betting, Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) with a new regulator. In addition, the bill is set to introduce regulations on betting, casino gaming, and other forms of gambling and legalize prize competitions, public lotteries, and media promotions.

Sponsored by National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah, the bill would change Kenyan gambling for good.

The bill is now before the Parliament with its future yet to be decided.

Under the proposed laws, gambling would expand but so would regulation. The bill envisions creating a regulator that has the powers necessary to deal with unruly gambling companies. To prevent regulatory breaches, the measure will introduce fines for violations of the country’s gambling law, preventing operators from simply ignoring the rules.

To make sure that operators do not violate the regulations, the bill would require them to post a bank guarantee or insurance security bond that would cover potential violations. Promoting an unlicensed lottery, for example, would carry a KES 1 million fine (approximately $6,500) or a year in prison.

The new bill will also prohibit bets under KES 20. Firms that violate this rule risk a fine of KES 50 million ($328,000).

In addition, the new regulator would be responsible for ensuring that minors do not engage in gambling. To that end, the measure would ban companies from advertising their products between 6 am and 10 pm.

Under the Gambling Control Bill, a 15% tax on gross revenue would be introduced, as well as a monthly levy. Lotteries, on the other hand, would be required to donate 30% of their proceeds to charity organizations.

 

Source: Gambling News

Bigwinboard battles UK Gambling Commission over affiliate legal rights

Bigwinboard is embroiled in a legal tug-of-war with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), claiming the regulator threatened to block access to its comparison site for UK visitors.

In a blog post, the affiliate site said it “recently faced unexpected legal pressure from the UKGC” and explained the core issue revolved around the site’s listing of “unlicensed casinos”.

However, Bigwinboard said the accusations remain “vague” and “puzzling”, considering that Bigwinboard neither caters to the UK market nor operates within it.

The casino comparison site further stressed that it is not an operator and therefore does “not have any direct obligations towards the regulator”.

Affiliate or operator?

Bigwinboard was founded by Daniel Hansson Sokcic in 2017 as an iGaming news site and casino comparison service.

In response to the UKGC’s message, Bigwinboard has questioned whether the regulator fully understands the website primarily serves as a review site and global web community for gamblers.

“We find the UKGC’s request to be an overreach, infringing on our right to operate freely in an international context.

“We intend to stand firm against this pressure, championing the principles of free speech and open access to information,” Bigwinboard said.

When NEXT.io contacted the UKGC for comment, a spokesperson stated that the regulator does not discuss individual cases.

The regulator did however mention its duty to investigate and take action against operators advertising unlicensed websites, without addressing the fact that Bigwinboard is an affiliate and not an operator.

Unhealthy relationship

Meanwhile, Bigwinboard founder Sokcic shared on LinkedIn: “Thanks for all the private messages and support. I know not everyone is comfortable criticizing the UKGC publicly due to fear of repercussions or just getting on their radar, and some have even deleted their own comments here, but it’s obvious that the relationship between the UKGC and the industry is anything but healthy.”

The site also suggested that the situation with the UKGC goes beyond a legal dispute and may serve as a litmus test for “integrity and resilience” in the face of regulatory overreach.

The affiliate also stressed that it would continue to operate within its legal rights and described the situation as a “noteworthy case study in the balance between regulation and freedom on the digital frontier, with implications far beyond the gambling industry”.

In a conversation with NEXT.io, Sokcic added that he feels “that Bigwinboard is being deliberately targeted” because he recently questioned their policies in a separate blog post.

“I believe this is a ‘punishment’. Out of all the big platforms and streamers, only we seem to have been singled out,” he said.

Sokcic said the UKGC informed him that not only do operators who target British customers without a license commit an offense under the Gambling Act, but so do those who advertise illegal gambling, as they are in violation of section 330 of the regulation.

Widening the scope

The relationship between affiliates and unlicensed operators has become a significant point of discussion across the industry in recent years.

Historically, UK enforcement efforts have focused on the operators directly, with licensed operators also held directly accountable for the actions of the external affiliate partners.

But in recent months, the UKGC has widened its scope to combat the threat of offshore gambling by partnering up with ISPs, payment providers, and software licensees.

These efforts have resulted in a 46% reduction in traffic to the market’s largest illegal sites, according to UKGC CEO Andrew Rhodes.

Elsewhere this year, German regulator GGL imposed a substantial administrative fine on a licensed operator for promoting their services on affiliate websites that also advertise unregulated offers.

Source: Next.io News

Bid Process for South Africa’s 2025 Lotto Licence Begins

South Africa’s National Lotteries Commission held a briefing session in September for prospective bidders for the National Lottery in anticipation of the license renewal in May 2025. The NLC issued a clarification in relation to the briefing session for the fourth national lottery and sports pools licence on 30 and 31 August 2023: “ Prospective applicants and interested parties who wish to attend the briefing session in relation to the Request for Proposal for the Fourth National Lottery and Sports Pools Licence (“RFP”)on 30 and 31 August 2023 are herewith advised that attendance of the briefing session is not compulsory for prospective applicants who intend to submit an application for the Licence. The briefing session is primarily an information session for prospective applicants and interested parties to obtain critical information relating to the RFP document and the application process. Prospective applicants may therefore be represented by one or more persons who may collectively or individually attend the briefing session on behalf of an entity to be formed in due course.

The NLC will record attendance at the briefing session and issue attendees with certificates of attendance which are to be submitted together with an applicant’s application. Failure to attend the Briefing Session or submit a certificate of attendance will, however, not result in the disqualification of a bid. Prospective applicants and interested parties are advised that after the conclusion of the briefing session, prospective applicants may only communicate with the NLC through the medium of a virtual data room or VDR to which access will only be provided upon the purchase of an RFP document and payment of the required fee. All enquiries and requests for additional information regarding the RFP, technical interpretation of the RFP or other matters requiring clarification by interested parties or applicants registered in terms of the RFP, must be made and submitted online via the VDR after the briefing session. The NLC will only respond via the VDR and no other form of communication will be accepted by the NLC. Engagement with the NLC regarding any matters concerning the RFP or application process after the conclusion of the briefing session will therefore require the purchase of an RFP document from the NLC. Prospective applicants are therefore encouraged to attend the briefing session for the full allocated time on both days.”

While the lucrative, and often controversial, licence renewal is only set for May 2025 the process has already kicked off and bidders can expect to pay R55 000 for access to documents and data around the lottery and access to a set of documents and a “virtual data room” that will tell them, in considerable detail, how money flows through the lottery system, from independent ticket vendors right through to payouts. Prospective bidders will then have five months to turn that information into proposals on how, given the chance, they would run the lottery when current operator Ithuba’s licence expires in May 2025.

In theory, those proposals must be submitted in early February in order for them to be properly evaluated and a winner announced in plenty of time for a smooth transition. But the odds of things going to schedule seem slim.

Ithuba won its licence in 2014 but was still fighting off a challenge from its predecessor Gidani into 2016. In 2007, the lottery was paused for half a year while Gidani’s predecessor and SA’s first operator, Uthingo, challenged being replaced. With every change of operator, the way the lottery runs and the secondary games around it have changed. Ithuba has indicated it hopes to be the first-ever operator to get a second term running the lottery, but Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) told shareholders it has already put together “an exciting bid”.

The scale of the opportunity the lottery represents has traditionally attracted a large number of interested parties, at least in the early stages of bidding, before significant investment is required. And that investment is significant. One insider has estimated that putting together a full bid can easily cost at least R15 million, and during the previous adjudication process bidders were required to put up a performance bond of R125 million.

The groups putting up that kind of money reconcile themselves with the possibility of further delays. Ithuba’s licence had been due to run only until May 2023 but was extended because, said the Department of Trade, industry and Competition (dtic), of the exceptional circumstances Covid-19 represented. As of last week, the dtic is committed to a timeline that includes the end-August briefings, a deadline of 31 October to pay for access to the data around the lottery, and the early-February deadline to submit bids. However, all those dates are subject to representations and legal challenges and, having extended the current licence once already, it could be hard to argue against further extensions.

Source: Gaming for Africa

International Gaming Standards Association expands to Africa

The International Gaming Standards Association (IGSA) has created a new African division to serve the continent’s gambling industry. GSA Africa will run as a local office, promoting standards across land-based, online gaming, sports betting, and lottery in Africa. IGSA says the new division is one of its core strategic initiatives for 2024.

FK Fayad, CEO of SamPro Group, a holding in the Middle East and Africa, will be the managing director of GSA Africa. Fayad has worked across trade, technology, ICT business, regulation, and government consultancy in Africa, Asia, Gulf Region, and the Middle East.

Fayad also holds a number of other roles with various organizations. These include serving on a panel of advisory and strategic partners to the Nigerian Arab Gulf Chamber of Commerce and as a volunteer member of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

“The creation of GSA Africa is another leap forward for IGSA and for the gaming industry,” IGSA president Peter DeRaedt said. “Gaming is expanding rapidly across the continent and, appropriately, each jurisdiction has its own nuanced regulations.

“GSA Africa will function as a guiding voice, bringing the myriad benefits of standards to operators, suppliers, and regulators across the continent.

“We are thrilled FK Fayad will lead GSA Africa. His deep insights and extensive relationships will be crucial to GSA Africa’s success.”

Fayad adds: “It is an honor to lead the newly created GSA Africa. Africa is an exciting part of the global gaming industry, where growth is rapid and poised to continue at a strong pace.

“Bringing IGSA standards to the continent at this phase of its growth is essential; I’m thrilled to lead this charge.”

 IGSA launches cyber and responsible gambling committees

Establishing the new African division is the latest step in IGSA’s ongoing efforts to serve the wider industry.

Last month, IGSA also formed a new Cyber Resiliency Committee (CRC) to create cyber standards for gambling businesses. The committee is focusing on standards for cyber risk management, cybersecurity governance, and framework control standards for casino operators, IGSA members Aristocrat Technologies, Light & Wonder, and AXES.ai have all declared their support for the new committee.

Meanwhile, in June, IGSA’s board also approved the creation of a Responsible Gaming Committee. IGSA said the committee will offer support for regulators and operators with a “multi-tiered framework” called the Responsible Gaming Maturity Model (RGMM).

This approach, it says, will offer the industry a path from discovery to a “highly quantifiable and predictable” responsible gaming model. IGSA adds that the RGMM will help both regulators and operators grow from implanting a basic RG policy to managing a more precise dashboard of KPIs generated from quantifiable data.

 

Source: iGB

 

online casino on a mobile phone, gambling

Ban on Nigerian Gambling Operators Sparked Licensing Confusion and Called for Clarity

In a surprising turn of events, more than 30 gambling operators were banned from conducting business. The public was cautioned against engaging with these brands as they were declared illegal by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and were found to contravene the provisions of the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Law 2021 in its amended form.

The ban affected various sectors and forms of gambling in Nigeria, where strict regulations apply to both online betting sites in Nigeria and land-based gambling. The Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA) accused these brands of failing to obtain the necessary licenses from LSLGA. As a result, that has put them in violation of Section 33(3) of the law.

This section explicitly states that “a person without a subsisting license or authorization from the Authority shall not conduct or operate any gaming activity in the State.”

List of banned Operators.

The list included the following;  Zebet, Betika, Gobet, MSport, 22Bet, Afribet, Bestbet360, Bangbet, Betwazobia, Netbet, Nairamillion, Western Lotto, Elliest Lotto, Riderlotto, Peelslotto, Setlotto, Hamabet, Koretbet, Paripesa, Megabet, Livescorebet, Blackbet/Bettybingo, Cloudbet, Sportbet.IO, Hallabet, Oddspedia, N1bet, Ngawin, Millionairepowerplay, Lottomania, Firstbet, Betxperience, Giveraffle, Konfambet, Wakabet, Betfarm, Scrath2win, Chopbarh, Naijabet, Plentymillions, Nairapowerbet, Gamespay and Xtragoalsfantasy.

Controversy that sparked after the Ban

The ban on over 30 gambling operators in Nigeria sent shockwaves through the industry, leaving both the public and operators puzzled and demanding answers. One of the major sources of confusion stemmed from the fact that several of the banned operators held licenses issued by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). This federal body oversees gambling activities in Nigeria.

Zebet, a prominent betting operator on the banned list, was quick to respond, emphasizing their federal license granted by the NLRC. They invited the public to review their official federal license on the NLRC website, further confirming that their authorization covers the entirety of Nigeria, not just Lagos.

This revelation ignited a crucial debate about the regulatory framework in Nigeria. Some users have raised valid questions regarding whether these operators, despite having federal licenses, need additional licenses at the state level to operate within Lagos. The ambiguity lies in whether these companies require physical offices within Lagos to necessitate a state license.

For example, 22Bet, one of the banned operators, does not maintain physical offices in Lagos. This led to speculation that they might not need a Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA) license. Such complexities in licensing procedures highlighted the need for greater clarity and transparency within the regulatory landscape of Nigeria.

The ban didn’t only create confusion but also brought to the forefront the importance of streamlining licensing procedures and ensuring that operators fully understand their compliance requirements at both federal and state levels. As the industry navigates these challenges, it is clear that regulatory authorities and operators must work together to establish more precise guidelines and promote a more cohesive and transparent regulatory environment for Nigeria’s gambling sector.

Clarification by the National Lotteries and Regulatory Commission (NLRC) on the whole situation

Following the witnessed frenzy by the Nigeria betting industry following the ban that was imposed by The Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA) on more than 30 betting operators. The public was warned against engaging with these brands, declared illegal under the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 Constitution, allegedly contravening provisions in the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Law 2021.

The ban left operators and the public perplexed, as many of the banned operators held licenses issued by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC). This confusion led several operators to provide evidence of their licenses obtained through the NLRC to operate nationwide in Nigeria, not just within Lagos.

In response to the controversy, the NLRC has issued a statement aimed at providing clarity on the situation. The NLRC expressed regret for any misunderstanding caused by the ban announcement, stating, “NLRC deeply regrets any misconceptions the unfortunate publication may have caused national gaming licensees operating within the ambit of the law in Nigeria.”

According to the NLRC statement, the following gaming operators, previously listed as “unlicensed and illegal” by the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LSLGA), are indeed licensed to conduct lottery and sports betting business throughout Nigeria: ZEBET, BETIKA, GOBET, MSPORT, AFRIBET, BANGBET, BETWAZOBIA, KORETBET, 22BET, PARIPESA, LIVESCOREBET, BLAVKBET/BETTY BINGO, CLOUDBET, HALLABET, N1BET, KONFAMBET, SCRATCH2WIN, NAIJABET, LOTTOMANIA, AND MILLIONAIRE POWERPLAY.

 

Source: Betting Companies Africa

From the East African Coast to Nigeria: Champions of Africa in Gambling

Kenya leads in African gambling with 83.90% participation, Nigeria closely follows with 78%, and South Africa boasts 74% participation. Football dominates as the preferred sport for betting in most African countries. In the vibrant tapestry of Africa, gambling has emerged as a cultural phenomenon, especially among the youth.

GeoPoll’s surveys conducted in May 2017 and December 2021 have unveiled intriguing insights into the gambling habits of African nations.

Kenya takes center stage in African gambling, with a remarkable 83.90% of Kenyans admitting to trying their luck with gambling or betting. Surprisingly, this percentage has continued to grow despite regulatory measures.

Nigeria closely follows, with 78% of Nigerians confirming their participation in gambling. Notably, Nigerians also have the highest average monthly spending on bets.

South Africa, known for its diverse betting options, boasts 74% of respondents who indulge in gambling. Intriguingly, lotteries slightly edged out football (29.3% vs. 53%) as the most popular choice for betting.

For the East African coast, Tanzania, where 63% of respondents engage in betting, with football remaining the top choice. Uganda, too, has seen a surge in its betting culture, with 59% participating.

See key highlights below from all key gaming Markets in the continent

CountryPercentage of GamblersPreferred Betting Choice
Kenya83.90%Football
Nigeria78%Football
South Africa74%Football
Ghana70%Football
Tanzania63%Football
Uganda59%Football

 

Source: Business Insider Africa