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Ugandan lawmakers propose ban on daytime sports betting

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Ugandan lawmakers have presented a proposal to ban sports wagering during the day. The suggestion was presented early last week at the Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board (LGRB) by Finance Committee member Enos Asiimwe, Member of Parliament for Kabula County. In the proposal, the committee suggests that sports betting in Uganda should only be allowed from 5pm to 2am.

According to Asiimwe, the ban would help young adults to be productive during working hours, which are usually from 7am to 5pm. During the meeting, Asiimwe pointed out that some youths start sports betting activities from as early as 10am.

During the meeting, Asiimwe’s proposal received support from other lawmakers like Dennis Ngabirano, the LGRB’s CEO. He also suggested that there are new regulations in the making that will affect the gambling industry as a whole in Uganda.

One of the regulations in place is the implementation of an electronic monitoring system in Uganda. The monitoring system will be put in place to reduce underage betting, protect innocent players, and crackdown on illegal gambling operators across the country. The latter has more weight since it will help the authorities collect more taxes and reduce money-laundering activities in the country.

Although Asiimwe’s proposal received some support, other lawmakers also pointed out that the law may have negative effects. For example, Makwach District MP Jane Pacutho pointed out that if the law is implemented, it may lead to an increase in domestic violence. The LGRB CEO also pointed out that most gambling activities are now online. So, if the ban is implemented, it will affect other activities like online casinos.

While online betting sites and internet casinos are now widely accepted in Uganda and across Africa, there was a time when lawmakers tried to ban all gambling activities. However, the proposal fell through since it became evident that it is impossible to prohibit something that is readily and easily accessible online. For that reason, lawmakers saw it’s better to regulate the industry.

During that period, a 35% tax on gambling operators was proposed. But that also did not hold up. In fact, lawmakers reduced the rate to 15%. The reduction saw a rise in sports betting activities in Uganda. That’s why global iGaming operators like 888 Holdings have shown some interest in Africa.

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