Zimbabwe provides for an overhaul of its existing gaming legislation, namely the Lotteries and Gaming Act, and expands the existing gaming options available in the country. The news was confirmed by the Minister of Information Monica Mutsvangwa who said the government had already approved changes to accommodate interactive forms of gambling which will include sports betting.
Liberalize gambling while limiting illegal activities
The main argument presented by officials was that the original version of the legislation was introduced in 1998 and it was no longer relevant to consumer needs or reflecting the evolution of the industry over the past two decades. The last time the gambling law was changed was in 2001 then in 2002.
Minister of the Interior and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe explained that the cabinet had received and approved amendments to the Lotteries and Gaming Act to boost revenue collection from the industry. Kazembe explained:
Key amendments to the law include provisions allowing online gambling operators and requiring operators to integrate technology compatible with LGB systems for monitoring and control purposes.
Minister of the Interior and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe
Currently, the government is missing out on a lucrative industry that exists anyway, with profits going to unregulated gambling operators. It must be plugged in, weighed Mutsvangwa as quoted by Zimlive, a local media outlet. The regulator, the Lotteries and Gaming Commission will continue to provide oversight and advice to the industry.
The new laws are not only intended to ensure that operators come into the light in terms of licensing, but also that no entity has the ability to carry out money laundering activities through betting in the country. Mutsvangwa is confident that the changes will ensure healthier revenues for state coffers while mitigating money laundering risks.
Bring in the right partners and investors to make it happen
Mutsvangwa has already confirmed that the government has received bids from companies that will help ensure revenue collection is done in full. The delay in expanding the legalization of gambling has been privately attributed to private interests, with some government officials stipulating that there has been lobbying on behalf of unlicensed gambling companies that are not obligated to pay taxes in the country but can still receive income from betting activities. .
The amendment seems to focus primarily on sports betting. This comes at an auspicious time for Zimbabwe, as hear and 888 have both begun to gain momentum in the region just as countries seek to better regulate gambling.