14 500 gambling machines registered

November 11, 2022 2076

The government has in the past four years registered 14 500 gambling machines, amid concern that Namibians are getting hooked to the recreational games.

Information show that the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) has since extended the registration process to February 2023 to allow for the machines to be linked to the central electronic monitoring system and raise awareness of the Entertainment Act 2018. 

 "The Acts are enacted and fully operationalised for implementation. However, to ensure proper and mutual understanding of the new law and implementation process, the Ministry plans to conduct awareness and education campaigns throughout the country," said MEFT spokesperson Romeo Muyunda,  revealing the basis of the registration extension.

The Act aims to promote education and awareness programmes about the risk and socio- economic impact of gambling and gambling activities, and to establish a responsible gambling programme.
 
The successful and full utilisation of the Act has been marred by financial constraints.

"There are no delays rather budgetary challenges which have since been addressed. The only issue was with budget appropriation and funds release time frame. Therefore an extension of six month has been granted to iron out a few things and allow for more registrations," stated Muyunda.

Another reason given is to allow for adjustments and address concerns raised by industry which are related to the Act.

Asked what measures will be taken against those who would not register, Muyunda said, "through awareness and education, it’s expected that the unlicensed gambling machine operators will apply for their licenses, those who fail to comply with the law, appropriate actions will be taken in accordance with the provision of the new Act."

Namibia’s gambling industry revenues plummeted by 77% from N$338 million in 2019/20 to N$76.6 million in the 2020/21 financial year due to restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Statistics the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism show that the country’s gambling sector operators paid N$33.8 million in levies for the 2019/20 financial year, a figure which later plunged to N$7.66 million for the 2020/21 period.

 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 15 November 2022 21:52

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