Mmegi Online :: Regulator to issue more gambling licences
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Last Updated
Monday 24 April 2017, 03:05 am.
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Regulator to issue more gambling licences

The Gambling Authority (GA) will issue six more casino licences in February this year in addition to the existing eight, chief executive officer (CEO) has said.
By Pauline Dikuelo Tue 31 Jan 2017, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Regulator to issue more gambling licences








Briefing the media on Friday, Thulisizwe Johnson said the authority will also issue a national lottery licence, sports betting and bingo licence as the new regulator opens up the gambling market.

Of the new casinos, he noted, two will be in Gaborone, two in Palapye, one in Maun, and another in Kasane.  Currently there are three casinos in Gaborone, two in Francistown, and each in Lobatse, Jwaneng and Selebi Phikwe.

“We are finalising the request for application process. The Kasane licence will be different as it will have exemptions based on the fact that even though Kasane might have the potential to have a casino, we need to consider that it is a village,” Johnson said.

He acknowledged that gambling can be harmful and assured that they will do their best to ensure that it takes place at organised places at all times. He said in addition to the toll free numbers, which irresponsible gamblers have been using, the authority is working with other professionals to come up with other ways to practising responsible gambling while the process of establishing a rehabilitation centre is still underway.

Johnson also said that to counter cyber security, money laundering and fraud while also ensuring privacy needs intensive investment on the part of the authority, saying that they continue to collaborate with government and other regulators to remain vigilant.

According to Johnson, the recent stakeholder survey which they conducted has identified some key issues that need their attention, which includes, bribery and corruption within the industry, money laundering, data and customer

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security privacy, as well as unfair business and operational practices.

“Gambling can be an opportunity to diversify the economy and grow it as the tax that will come out of these casinos will contribute to the government’s revenue and we are also going to ensure that they do commit to the corporate social initiatives,” he said. The CEO said the national lottery would fund the lottery distribution fund, which will benefit sports in the country, charities, arts and culture and anything that designates to be funded.

He said no entity can apply directly for a licence unless they have been issued an invitation adding that the applicant must specify the location, requirements around entity shareholder, the number of employees, as well as their source of income.

“We can only fund applications that meet the requirement of the act, which specifies how they are going to create employment, and should hire local management. When licensing we would also ensure fair balance and mitigate negative effects of gambling as we are keen to see an increased participation in gambling,” Johnson said.

 According to the GA’s 2015-2016 Annual Report, gross gambling revenue made by the casinos stood at P225.2 million, an improvement of 0.29% from the previous financial year.

Grand Palm Casino was the highest performer grossing P96.6 million in gaming revenues in the 2015-2016 financial years that also saw Gaborone Sun Casino earning P84.4 million. The next best performer is Marang in Francistown, which made P10.8 million, followed by Sedibeng Casino in Francistown with P8.6 million.

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