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Strengthening the Gambling Industry in East Africa: Highlights from the Annual Sports Betting Summit

By Precious Birungi

The Annual Sports Betting East Africa Summit, SBEA+ 2023 a highly anticipated event for industry players, regulators, and stakeholders took place on the 13th and 14th of July 2023, leaving an indelible mark on the gambling landscape in East Africa.

The summit offered a unique platform for diverse stakeholders to converge and discuss essential topics, including balancing taxation and industry sustainability, player protection, and responsible gaming. Let's delve into the highlights of this successful event and its significance for the future growth and development of the gambling sector in the region.

In his keynote address, the Ag. C.E.O Denis Mudene Ngabirano set the tone for the summit by providing valuable insights into the gambling tax hike in Uganda, shedding light on its implications and rationale.

underscoring the significance of striking a delicate balance between taxation and industry sustainability. The gaming industry, a vital contributor to the region's economy, faces challenges related to taxation policies that could impact its growth and overall sustainability. His address

“30% tax will not apply to sports betting, general betting, pool betting and bingo. It will only on apply on casinos, lotteries, and slots due in part to the impracticality of the administration of withholding tax.” Denis Mudene, Ag. CEO, National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board of Uganda

Empowering Player Protection and Responsible Gaming

A standout feature of the summit was the panel discussion on player protection and responsible gaming. Experts and stakeholsders engaged in debates about the regulator's role in safeguarding players and promoting responsible gambling practices. It was acknowledged that regulatory frameworks should include comprehensive age verification procedures, self-exclusion programs, and guidelines for responsible advertising. The summit emphasized the importance of continuous dialogue and cooperation between regulators and industry players to address emerging challenges effectively.

Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement

Throughout the summit, responsible gambling practices remained a focal point. Industry leaders showcased their commitment to promoting responsible gaming and shared initiatives to prevent gambling-related harm.

The event underscored the significance of collaboration and stakeholder engagement in shaping the future of the gambling industry. By bringing together operators, regulators, and various stakeholders, the summit facilitated open discussions and the exchange of ideas. Participants emphasized that a collective effort and information sharing are essential to developing effective regulatory policies that resonate with the evolving needs of the industry and the public.

Regional Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange

An exceptional aspect of the summit was the opportunity for regional collaboration and knowledge exchange. Attendees hailed from diverse countries within East Africa, facilitating the sharing of best practices and experiences across jurisdictions. This cross-pollination of ideas empowered participants with valuable insights that can be applied to their respective regions, fostering a sense of unity in their pursuit of a responsible and thriving gambling sector.

The National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board is committed to applying the lessons learned from this momentous event. By continuing to work closely with industry players and stakeholders, we aim to enhance our efforts in fostering a safe, transparent, and sustainable gambling environment in East Africa.