African Gaming in the News — Weekly Round-up for June 02, 2017

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jun 7, 2017

Republic Of Gambia Lifts Gambling Ban

As suddenly as it was decreed back in 2015

According to the Gambian press, President Adam Barrow has lifted a presidential decree banning gambling in the West African country.

Gambling, considered by former President Yahya Jammeh as ‘unethical and exploitative, was suddenly banned by Presidential decree in March 2015.  The decree covered all forms of gambling including casinos, gaming centers and lotteries which were forced to immediately shut down.

According to JollofNews, the decision is part of the government’s strategy to transform Gambia into an attractive hub for investors and provide employment opportunities.

Kenya Parliament Dismisses Tax Hike (Update)

Reverts to 7.5 percent on gross profit rate

Kenyan Parliamentarians reversed a decision Tuesday, that would have raised betting taxes to a punitive 50 percent.

The decision approved late last week was revisited after majority leader of the National Assembly of Kenya, Aden Duale, invoked provisions of Standing Orders to return four sections of the Finance Bill, 2017 back to Parliament for a second vote.

Industry observers expected the rate would be negotiated down to around 35 percent in today’s Parliamentary session but were pleasantly surprised when the rate was returned to the 2016 level of 7.5 percent on gross profit.  Casinos and other gaming companies will be taxed 12 percent, lotteries at five percent and prize competitions at 15 percent.

Parliamentary members reiterated the sector should be regulated but not through “counter-productive” taxation.

The Finance Bill 2017 now awaits Presidential signature.

South African Gamblers’ Winnings Confiscated

Gambling board warns, online gambling is illegal

The South African Government’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sent a strong message to the public this week regarding illegal online gambling when it petitioned the Gauteng High Court to confiscate several online punters winnings following an investigation by the country’s National Gambling Board (NGB).

Despite online gambling being illegal in South Africa, a myriad of unlicensed operators offer their services in the country, seemingly with impunity.

The Court subsequently handed down an unprecedented ruling in which R1.25 million in winnings were confiscated and forfeited to the State.

“The public is hereby cautioned to be wary of online gambling offerings, as online gambling is illegal in South Africa and thus anyone participating in any illegal online gambling activity would be unable to receive any winnings and would expose themselves to criminal prosecution,” the Department of Trade and Industry cautioned in a statement.

The NGB collaborates with the banking fraternity in identifying illegal winnings as part of an anti-money laundering strategy.  South African residents found to be gambling illegally are subject to the confiscation of their winnings and may face criminal charges or a hefty fine to a maximum of R10 million or both.

NGB accounting officer Caroline Kongwa appealed to the public to report websites advertising online gambling and establishments in South Africa,  especially those disguised as internet cafes, offering online gambling and other illegal gambling activities to the public.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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