The government of Uganda has said that it has no intention to ban Sports Betting in the country.
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said in Kampala that their intention is to have the activity limited to only Ugandans.
“We don’t intend to ban the Sports Betting activity but what we want is the activity to be limited to only Ugandans,” Kasaija told the media in Kampala while giving an update on the issue.
Junior Finance Minister in Charge of Planning David Bahati, had shocked the nation early this week when he announced that there shall be no further issuance of licenses for gambling and betting companies.
Bahati, said the president’s directive follows concerns especially from religious leaders that Uganda’s youth were wasting their lives and money on betting.
“Gambling, sports betting and gambling, there is no renewal of the licenses of the companies that are operating. No new companies are going to be licensed, that is what the president has said…The president has directed,” said Bahati.
However, the Chairperson of National Gaming Board Uganda Manzi Tumubweine said that his office had not yet received an official communication regarding the same.
“Ugandan youth are trapped in a vicious cycle of betting, staking their little earnings while believing that they might win a jackpot in every stake,” added Bahati.
However, in a media brief, Kasaija has cleared the air saying there is no any intention to ban Sports Betting.
Uganda was about to lose up to Shs50b in revenue annually if government had gone ahead to ban sports betting.
The ban could have even crippled the real estate sector where many betting companies are tenants on big buildings throughout the country. Landlords would have suffered lack of tenants and probably a crippled economy if the ban was to take effect.
BY PAUL TENTENA