TANZANIA – AMENDS GAMING ACT WITH POTENTIAL ADVERTISING REPRIEVE
By Iwo Bulski
The Tanzanian government has amended the gaming regulations of the state, widening the range of available licence categories, and possibly lifting an advertisement ban that was enforced in January this year.
Section 51 of the Gaming Act has been amended to allow the Tanzania Gaming Board to sanction the marketing of their goods by companies.
The permission for ads will continue for six months once it is first given, after which it can be extended for year-long terms. Section 86A(1) has been revised to allow those who have been allowed to advertise their programmes to do so in a way that protects children and the disabled, without going into details about what this entails.
This indicates that the government is rowing back on changes implemented on January 23 of this year when it decreed that electronic media advertisement, such as television and radio, was banned.
Further revisions to the Gaming Act, published in the Official Gazette of the state, made five new categories of licences available. In addition to the national lottery licence currently held by Murhandziwa, a South African subsidiary of Gidani, special approval is now required for benefit lotteries.
Previously developed was a service provider licence for gaming operators providing goods or services, as well as a gaming consultant licence and one for electronic players.
In addition to the national lottery permit, there were already eight separate licence classes. Of casino gaming, slot machines and online games, as well as distributor and dealer licences of service providers, there were different certifications. Key employees of gaming companies, such as executives, also require a licence, as do their workers, while people working in a gambling venue on non-gaming activities often need accreditation.
New regulatory powers have also been given to the Gaming Board to combat illegal gambling and can now inspect, seize and destroy unsafe and unlicensed gaming equipment.
Though, when the Gaming Board begins issuing sports betting and slot machine licences, it remains unclear. It declared a temporary halt to licencing in August, saying it needed to determine whether new companies had space in the market to join.
The regulator announced in March that it expected the regulated gaming industry’s tax contributions to rise to TZS96bn (£ 32.2m/€37.4m/$41.7 m) for the fiscal year ended June 30.
Gaming Board director general James Mbalwe said at the time: “Over the past few years, Tanzania has recorded massive growth in tax collections from gaming activities, due to the rising number of players and tighter controls.”
He said the gaming industry had invested more in the market as conditions for doing business in the country had improved, resulting in the sector contributing about 3% of Tanzania’s gross domestic product, creating around 20,000 new jobs on the market.