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Gambling Authority Tackles Addiction

VICTORIA MARUMO
Thulisizwe Johnson PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The Gambling Authority has acknowledged that gambling addiction exists amongst some participants who indulge in the activity and has made efforts to address the issue accordingly.

Addressing the media on Friday, the Authority’s CEO Thulisizwe Johnson said a national prevalence survey will be carried out.

It is expected the study will give the board a detailed insight of the nature of gambling in the country, something that will help in developing strategies for safer gambling.

“There are programmes available to assist people suffering from a gambling addiction and we also make sure the individuals are not allowed back into casinos until they are confirmed by a professional to be in a proper state,” Johnson said.

He said the local gambling industry has witnessed a relative growth over the past few years. This has forced the Gambling Authority to put control measures in place to ensure safer gambling while transforming Botswana’s economy.

Key discussions included the issue of casino licencing including an application process that before being approved will be made public to allow any objections to be brought forth before a licence can be issued.

“Our responsibility as the authority is to

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evaluate and conduct investigations to ensure if the applicant meets all the relevant requirements and whether it will make money as well as considering all objections before reaching the decision to decide to grant a licence or not,” added Johnson.

In 2018, the Authority put out applications for casino licences and an announcement was made to the public.

According to the Authority’s chief operating officer, Potlako Mawande while a number of potential applicants received the application documents and registered, one application was received from Scenic Adventures, a local company to operate a casino in Gaborone. However, there were objections surrounding the application, the board ultimately ruled in favour of Scenic Adventures.

“This decision was influenced mainly by the desire to see a multiplier effect, including job creation, which the establishment of a new casino is going to provide,” said Mawande.

He went on to state that gambling is an opportunity for entertainment and tourism, which has a positive effect on national economic development.



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