Sports Betting Centres around Uganda are under threat as the number of closed premises has increased to 78 from last month’s 48 centres which were closed in the city suburbs and Mukono district.
The Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board (LGRB), has closed over 30 illegal sports betting centres in areas of Kampala city and Wakiso district during its operation which has left many of the owners outraged.
Sports betting centres around the areas of Entebbe, Kajjansi, Lweza Zzana and Namasumba have also been shut down. Other areas include Gayaza, Kisaasi, Kyanja, Mpererwe, Kalerwe and Kanyanya.
Some of the betting centres that have been closed include World Star, Acebet, SBA, Victory, Arua Casino LEV and Home Bet, among others.
Why has the Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board taken this action?
The reason behind the closure of most betting premises according LGRB is that some are unlicensed operators while others were allowing young individuals below 25 years to participate in betting.
According to a statement by Jonathan Kyeyune, the head of Public and Corporate Affairs,
“The law is very clear. Only Ugandans above 25 years are supposed to enter the betting premises. When we visited these betting centres, we found people who are below the required age,”
Kyeyune also explained others were operating in areas below the minimum size of 30 square meters, required by the law.
“And others were closed because they were operating near the schools, churches and Government offices,” he added.
The Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board was set up in 2016 by Parliament as a corporate body to enforce the law, relating to the conduct of lotteries, gaming, betting and casinos. The LGRB is also responsible for issuing licenses, regulating and taxing the betting industry.
The LGRB is also planning to block non –registered betting sites, both local and foreign and is working together with the ministry of ICT and the Uganda Communications Commission on drafting guidelines to regulate online betting.
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & CEO of Innovware startup project. He is passionate about tech, games and entertainment. He also enjoys writing about anime and many other topics.