Uganda Clarifies Anti-Gambling Policies

This story was published more than 5 years ago.

Uganda's State Minister of Finance announced this week that his country's anti-gambling policies are only being targeted at foreign firms, rather than all betting groups as was initially thought.

Minister David Bahati issued a statement that clarified an earlier statement that revealed that the country's president Yoweri Musuveni told him that he should not issue new betting licenses and that existing ones would not be allowed to be renewed once they expire. Kasaija said that they aren't getting rid of betting, but will only allow Uganda-based companies to continue to operate.

In a statement Kasaija said, "We're saying this activity should be limited to only Ugandans. We have said that licensees that are running will not be renewed and new ones will not be issued to foreigners because we've discovered so much of our money is being exported through that gaming thing which as far as I am concerned has little value to the economy."

The move will likely see contraction in the industry, as big names such as Betway will be likely to leave, unless they set up a base in the country .

We'll update readers as we learn more about the decision and the ramifications it will present.

About the author

Kingston Li // Asia Correspondent
Kingston Li
Kingston is a big fan of Baccarat and Texas Hold'em Poker and has tested his skills in tournaments around Asia and the world. He covers the latest gambling news from Asia for Casino Listings. In his spare time, Kingston enjoys hiking, video gaming, and playing disc golf.
2 replies • Last post


Slots FanSlots Fan
WaroftheGods's picture
Location: Calgary
Joined: 27 Sep 2017
Posts: 1306
Thanks given: 561
Thanks received: 1202
24 January 2019 - 7:55am

The president brings up a good point with keeping the money in the local economy, if people are being prevented from throwing it outside their borders, then all the money in return will go straight back into their own economy, I bet their way of living goes up, prices will go down a bit, I bet after a few short years life improves for almost everybody there.


Forum AngelForum Angel
sharpe's picture
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Joined: 4 Nov 2014
Posts: 7646
Thanks given: 4239
Thanks received: 1165
29 January 2019 - 6:12pm

This time I'm not agree with you WaroftheGods, yeah of course they have the right to do that in their own country but it's a bit hypocritical politic from the local government or president to do that for a few reasons.

1. There's something called a free market...obviously not there.

2. But maybe most important the local players would not have the luxury of playing to some of the world leading brands sites which almost presumably means they wont have the better playing conditions (bonuses, some of the top games e.t.c) which would be in punters harm I think.

3 Usually in such poor economics there's two or three people owing the whole of gambling business..let's say they're a dozen in Uganda which most likely have an offshore bank accounts and I guess most of the profits of the Ugandan players would be 'invested' in the Cayman's for example instead of their own economic(apart for those funds who'll be spent as a bribes for some of the local politics, who could easily have an offshore bank accounts themselves 😉 )

Since the free gambling market opening here in the 90's all the local brands (who've been owned by a 2 or 3 guys) trying to convince us here that the foreign companies will not pay their taxes and the money we've lost gambling wont return back in the local economic so we must gamble only to the locals(I'm mainly speaking of a sportsbetting) so bet365 had to open a case in European court to be legalized here despite they've been applied for that for years.

So I'm speaking from my own personal experience, I'm really glad some of the top brands are available here now(even though too few of them) but that certainly gives me a better win ratio if you will...and I think the foreign companies are even more responsible paying there taxes compared to the locals who seems to always find another way.

I will be stunned if that's not valid for Uganda too...probably even worst there as they're one of the poorest countries globally as far as I know.