The government of Uganda has announced that sports betting will be a thing of the past in the landlocked East African state. This is after Yoweri Museveni, who serves as the country’s President since 1986 ordered a permanent halt on the issuance of new licenses to sports betting firms. The order does not stop there as existing betting companies will not be allowed to renew their permits.
According to the state, sports betting has fostered laziness among the youth who have since ceased to engage in gainful activities. The development is also said to have been influenced by the Hand of God who answered the clergy’s prayers requesting the saviour of the human race to guide the youth from activities that do not build them.
“We have received a directive from President Museveni to stop licensing sports betting, gaming and gambling companies. The President has now directed the board which has been regulating them. From now onwards, no new companies are going to be licensed. Those which are already registered will not be granted with new licenses when they expire,” noted Uganda’s Minister for Finance, David Bahati.
We do not know if the directive will be enforced because gambling companies have been known to fight for their business. The institutions are also involved in several key projects such as sponsorship of sports teams, which should be a blow to clubs that depend on their input. A similar move, which aimed to increase taxes remitted by betting firms was introduced in Kenya to a nationwide uproar. The likes of Sportpesa threatened to pull their sponsorship for several sports-related programs, but the matter was settled amicably after a series of meets and deliberations.
A year ago, Uganda introduced another unpopular move: taxing citizens who use social media services. The development was meant to control social media ‘gossip’, which the President of Uganda found distasteful.