The government says the fragmented nature of laws around gambling in Zambia make it difficult for effective regulation.
Tourism Minister Rodney Sikumba said the gambling sector is currently regulated by six fragmented pieces of legislation and administered by different ministries such as the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Tourism.
Mr. Sikumba observed that the fragmented pieces of legislation made it extremely difficult to monitor and supervise the sector.
He said the continuance need for legislation has been necessitated by the growth of the industry in Zambia.
Mr Sikumba was speaking in Lusaka in a speech read for him by Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Chipoka Mulenga during the launch of Bwin sports betting in Zambia.
“The gambling industry as is commonly referred to in Zambia was first guided by the Lotteries Act in the early 1950’s, and was pronounced widely in 1992 when the Casinos Act Number 13 of 1992 of the Laws of Zambia was introduced. A quick research will reveal that significant amendments to these pieces of legislation have been undertaken and further policy introduced such as the Betting Act of 1994,” he said.
Mr Sikumba said the growth of non-traditional industries’ and their undeniable contributions to our socio-economic development require holistic view of their unique contributions to the country.
“You will agree that there is still a lot of work to be done for us to declare sanity in our gaming and lotteries arena but today we have the Gaming Board of Zambia that was established to help us optimise the positive socio-economic benefits of the sector,” he said.
He added, “I would also encourage the media to take an interest in appreciating the role of the tourism enterprise authorization and licensing committee under my ministry whose mandate extends to gaming and casino operations. Technology has been described as one of the greatest equalisers of our time. The accelerated access of gambling portals even in extremely vulnerable communities brings concern to my office, however, the opportunities of job and wealth creation if properly managed give us hope in initiatives such as this one.”
And Entain Africa Chief Marketing Officer Spencer Okach said the coming in of bwin means that customers in Zambia will now have a fantastic opportunity to experience First-in Class unrivalled bwin service.
Mr. Okach said the company’s investment in Zambia demonstrates their confidence in the Zambian economy and the business friendly environment that has been restored by the UPND administration.
“In addition to enjoying bwin’s incredible portfolio of sports betting and gaming products, customers are promised a smooth user experience thanks to a seamless interaction with the platform’s deposit and pay-out processes – all made straightforward thanks to the integration of the services of local partners Airtel and MTN,” he said.
“bwin also brings to Zambia its rich brand history that has seen it partner with some of the biggest names in world sport. bwin is the Official Partner of the both the UEFA Europa League and Europa Conference League as well as being the Official Partner of the German Football Association and national team.”