Sports betting boosts revenues

SPORTS betting operations were the key contributor to a whopping 95bn/- revenues that the gaming industry recorded in the just ended fiscal year, the ‘Daily News’ has established.

The Gaming Board of Tanzania (GBT) had projected to collect 80bn/- in 2018/19 fiscal year but the booming sports betting operations in the country enabled the institution to surpass its target by over 15bn/-.

Of the historic 95.07bn/- collections during the period under review, the gaming tax was 51.78bn/- and recorded winning was 43.29bn/-.

Statistics show that gaming collections increased by 16.19bn/- in the 2018/19 from 78.78bn/- in the previous financial year’s collections.

GBT reports indicate that 48.25bn/-, which is slightly over half of the total revenues generated in the last fiscal year, comes from sports betting operations.

Sports betting operations topped other gaming operations in the 2017/18 financial year as well, with 30.69bn/- from both gaming and wining taxes, closely, followed by SMS lottery with 30.56bn/-.

Besides sports betting,casino (land-based and internet) operations generated 19.22bn/- and SMS lottery operations came third with 13.878bn/- in 2018/19 compared to 30.56bn/- gained in the corresponding period.

According to GBT, the national lottery operations recorded only 313,385/- in last year, a drop from 4.42m/- in 2017/18.

Forty Machines Site Operations is another area that contributed 13.06bn/- last financial year while slots machines operations had 658.58m/- during the same period.

Commenting on the success, GBT Director General James Mbalwe said management and regular inspections of the systems in the gaming sector have jointly helped the board to surpass its revenue collection target.

Mr Mbalwe, speaking specifically on sport betting, said majority Tanzanians love sports and the amount charged is small compared to casino, the reason why the area has featured on the top in the last two fiscal years as major source of revenues in the country’s gaming sector.

In ensuring that players are responsible while engaging in gambling activities in the country, the board plans to introduce a system that will monitor players to avoid “addiction.”

In the end of last month, the gaming sector stakeholders met in Dar es Salaam to deliberate on avoidance of adverse impact of irresponsible gambling.

At the training that GBT, Shikana Law Group and Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) in South Africa organised jointly, stakeholders harmoniously concurred that ‘gaming responsibly’ concept aims at not killing the industry but making it sustainable and protecting the community against troubles.

He told the meeting participants that the current Gaming Act of 2003 doesn’t allow persons under the age of 18 to participate in gambling but GBT wants the legislation to give more room to accommodate gambling addicts who are seeking self-exclusion.

Self-exclusion, according to Gambling Helpline Online, is a voluntary process where a person with “gambling concern excludes themselves from areas of specific gambling venues, or online providers.

It can provide a concrete tool to help keep you safe from excessive gambling,” the DG added.

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