Not long ago, officials in Uganda introduced a new set of laws to help protect their online gambling industry. Foreign gambling companies in the country were told that their licenses to legally operate in the country would not be renewed. This week, the government announced a new set of age restrictions for online gambling in Uganda.
This country is working hard to better regulate the online gaming market. The latest step to introduce early age restrictions is an attempt to prevent youth problem gambling.
For many years, Uganda had no formal legislature in place to regulate their online gambling industry. In 1967, lawmakers here passed the National Lotteries Act. The Gaming and Pool Betting Act passed a year later. These laws set a legal framework to monitor land-based gambling activities.
In 2013, the government finally took a step to regulate online gambling in Uganda under the Lotteries and Gaming Bill. The National Lotteries and Gambling Regulatory Board was established and tasked with the regulation of Uganda’s gambling activities. Over the past few years, Uganda has begun implementing new laws toward this industry.
For years, foreign gambling operators (including some of the most popular online gambling sites in Europe) have been able to legally operate in Uganda after obtaining a license from the government. Earlier this year, Uganda announced that they would not be renewing licenses for any of these sites. According to officials in the country, these companies were profiting off the country without giving anything back.
Uganda is now implementing a new set of laws. Any gamblers here must provide their identity to prove they are above the age of 25 before they can legally place a bet. These laws officially take effect on March 1st.
There was a brief time when it looked like all forms of online gambling in Uganda were in danger of being shut down. Initial reports were making it seem like the government was banning all forms of online wagering. That is not the case.
Uganda is actively working to make its domestic gambling market stronger. The decision to not renew foreign gambling licenses proves this. Lawmakers here requiring gamblers to prove their age is more of an attempt to prevent the youth from spending money irresponsibly.
The age restrictions for gambling is no indication that the gambling industry here is in trouble. On the contrary, it proves that the government is putting more effort into regulating and working on this popular market. So, what can we expect for the future?
The new laws announced this week won’t have much of an impact on the industry overall. As we mentioned earlier, the laws will take effect on March 1st. Gamblers here will also need to register their phone number with gambling operators before they can make wagers.
It remains to be seen how the closing of foreign gambling sites here will affect the industry. We’ve seen some countries take similar steps, leading to an increase in unregulated and untaxed online gambling. Some local gamblers will likely choose to make their bets through websites without a license to operate in Uganda.
It’s also possible that the increase in regulations will help the government earn more revenue. If gamblers here decide to play through local companies, the government can earn millions in additional revenue every year. The ramifications of the new laws toward online gambling in Uganda will come to light in the next year or two.
Do you think the new age restrictions for gambling in Uganda will be a good thing? Will this country’s industry continue to grow in the future? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!
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