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Gambling regulations come into force

Screws have been tightened in the world of gambling as the new gambling regime has stepped in to supervise gambling activity as well as issuing licenses.

New regulations approved in terms of the Gambling Act 2012 signed off by the Minister of Trade and Industry in January will be implemented at the nation’s ten land casinos through a new regulatory body, Gambling Authority.

Familiarizing with the media this week, the Gambling Authority CEO, Thulisizwe Johnson expressed that with the measures in place all the plagues in the industry would be dealt with.

The measures enable the commencement of 2012’s Gambling Act, which provides for the establishment of a fund made of all the levies imposed under the Act and the establishment of the excessive gambling prevention and rehabilitation committee.

The gambling business in Botswana has spread at a very fast pace and there have been lots of complaints about the ills that plague it. The new regulations are intended to protect the interests of individual gamblers while also ensuring that the government generates the maximum possible revenues from it.

The gambling watchdog  is in the process of taking over  the existing casinos and  anyone wishing to be involved in any other kind of betting, including  sms and online will need to be registered and licensed with the Authority first.

“All the new requirements are meant to curb illegal gambling and protect the licensed operators who do not only pay tax but also have jobs to protect,” Johnson highlighted.

Another important aspect of the new gambling regulations is that it is designed to control money laundering. Under the new regulations, any gambling operation, betting premises, gambling machines and key personnel will be required to have a license. The Authority will also start to electronically supervise all betting operations transactions with casino operators, which are required to install surveillance equipment, to monitor possible money laundering and other crimes.

While regulations governing the operations of land casinos are extensive, Johnson admitted that more work still needs to be done on a strong and appropriate regulatory framework for virtual betting  including online and sms-based competitions and sports betting.

Prior to the Gambling Act, was the Lotteries and Betting Act, The Casino Control Act. The regulator was known as the Casino Control Board and it worked with a Secretariat housed in the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry (MITI)

Johnson  added that through the exercise by any of its officers, or any person authorised by it, to enter and inspect any gambling establishment at such times and such manner as it may consider necessary to ascertain whether the terms and conditions of a licence are being observed; and

The Licences shall be awarded for a period of 10 years unless revoked or renewed. The licences covered by the act include Lottery Licence,Lottery Machine Licence, Racing Licence,Testing Agent Licence,Totalisator Licence

He added that as an authority they will ensure the weak and vulnerable must be protected at all times.

“There must be a risk management policy developed by licensees to spot and stop irresponsible and reckless gambling. As you do not have physical contact a in the case of a land-based establishment, development of an oversight programme that includes number of times and amounts gambled is necessary to demonstrate,” he stated.

Casinos will have to pay a P250,000 (US$22,500) registration fee, while betting houses, bingos and lotteries will pay P50,000, P10,000 and P1 million, respectively.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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