KAMPALA: Effective March 1, 2019, no person will be allowed in betting halls unless they present identification cards to prove they are not under the age of 25 years, the National Gaming Board chief executive officer, Mr Edgar Agaba, has said.
The new directive came following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on information sharing about betting with Jinja District local government at the Town Hall.
“Under this arrangement, any person betting will be required to present his or her national identity card or passport number before being registered into the computer for issuance of a betting receipt,” Agaba said.
He said the person’s fully registered mobile number will be first be recorded to prevent children from betting. Agaba said this was is in line with the financial intelligence regulation entailed in the Ugandan Constitution.
This regulation, among others, Agaba said, also compels a person to reveal the source of funding for the money being used in any business, a move he added is meant to fight money laundering in the country.
“Anybody below the age of 25 years will not be allowed to bet, and to enforce this directive, the age of those involved in betting will have to be registered before they proceed to bet,” he said.
He added that local governments with betting centres in town councils all over the country are being brought on board for easy implementation of the regulations set by government while those on the semi-urban peripheries will be shut down.
“We are signing a Memorandum of Understanding with these local governments to help us monitor their activities in the area and we shall always consult them when renewing their licences,’’ he said.
He, however, warned that companies which will not comply will have their licences revoked and premises closed indefinitely.
This development follows a January proclamation by the State minister of Planning, David Bahati that President Museveni had ordered government not to register new sports betting companies or renew licences for the existing ones upon expiry.
Bahati said government will determine the number of betting companies and they will operate in a new regulation aimed at protecting youth from the effects of betting.