President Yoweri Museveni has given a directive to the government to stop renewing or issuing licenses to any gaming or sports betting companies in Uganda.
According to Minister of State for Finance David Bahati, the president’s reason for doing so is that gambling has diverted the attention of Ugandan youth from hardwork.
“We have received a directive from President Museveni to stop licensing sports betting, gaming and gambling companies. The President has now directed the board which has been regulating them. From now onwards, no new companies are going to be licensed. Those which are already registered, no renewal of licences when they expire,” Mr Bahati was quoted as saying by the Observer newspaper during a Sunday church service in Rugarama Hill in western Kabale town.
Mr Bahati also revealed that religious leaders had complained that online betting has reduced productivity among Uganda’s youngsters. He added that the youth in Uganda stake their little earnings in betting believing that they will win jackpots with every bet they place.
The chairperson of National Gaming Board in Uganda Manzi Tumubweine has however said that his office had not yet received an official communication on the pronouncement.
“I can’t comment on what I don’t know. They say they want to ban full betters, I don’t know how they are going to do it. As soon as I get the policy, you can call me and I comment about it. I know it, but I don’t want to comment on it because I have my views about it.” Tumubweine said.
Gambling is legal in Uganda and is regulated under The National Lotteries Act and the Gaming and Pool Betting (Control and Taxation) Act.