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NEW GAMBLING REGULATIONS FOR BOTSWANA
Monday February 22,2016 : NEW GAMBLING REGULATIONS FOR BOTSWANA
Reformed regulatory regime kicks in on April 1st, covering both land and online betting.
Whilst it may be All Fool's Day for some, April 1st this year will start on a very serious note as a revamped gambling regulatory regime in Botswana kicks in.
New regulations approved in terms of the Gambling Act 2012 signed off by the Minister of Trade and Industry in January will be implemented at the nation's ten land casinos through a new regulatory body titled Gambling Authority, headed by CEO Thuli Johnson.
The regulations tighten control measures for the sector and cover all land-based and virtual (online and mobile) betting in Botswana, ranging from casinos, bookmakers, bingo and lotteries to racing.
“All kinds of betting will now need to be licensed," Johnson said at a briefing late last week. "We will be flighting adverts soon for Request for Proposals for interested companies to apply for licences.
“We will take over regulation of the existing casinos in April, and anyone wishing to be involved in any other kind of betting, including sms and online, will need to be registered and licensed with the Authority first.”
Under the new regulations, betting premises, gambling machines and key personnel will all be scrutinised and licensed, and stringent anti-money laundering and security monitoring measures will be required.
“All the new requirements are meant to curb illegal gambling and protect the licensed operators who do not only pay tax but also have jobs to protect,” said Johnson.
While regulations governing the operations of land casinos are extensive, Johnson admitted that more work still needs to be done on a strong and appropriate regulatory framework for virtual betting - including online and sms-based competitions and sports betting.
The online gambling industry was not regulated by the previous Casino Board but locals could still gamble at various online casinos, international online sportsbooks, bingo and poker sites that accepted them.
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