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Uganda losing Billions resulting from Uninspected betting machines

Uganda is losing billions of shillings in betting because betting organizations utilize untested, uninspected, and unverified equipment, according to the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board. Uganda Uninspected Betting Machines

While Section 4 of the Lotteries and Gaming Act of 2016 requires the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board to issue licenses to lotteries, casinos, gaming, and betting companies, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards – UNBS lacks the tools needed to test and certify gaming equipment.

The void has resulted in an invasion of substandard and unendorsed gambling machines, generally known as slot or poker machines, into the country, where they are being exploited to scam their unwary customers.

The discovery was made by the board members, led by Acting Chief Executive Officer and Head of Strategy and Corporate Affairs Denis Ngabirano, during a meeting with the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises – COSASE on Tuesday. The officials appeared to be responding to questions presented by the Auditor General’s report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. Uganda Uninspected Betting Machines

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Ngabirano indicated that the UNBS, which is tasked with fostering trade fairness and precision in the industry through accurate measurement systems, lacks the necessary tool to enforce the requirements. He explained that the Board relies on prequalified external testing laboratories with ISO certification, an independent and non-governmental organization that creates standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products.

The remark drew criticism from Bukoto Central Member of Parliament Richard Ssebamala, who accused the Board of failing to execute on its role and allowing Ugandans to be duped by gambling investors.

The Committee Chairperson, Joel Ssenyonyi, questioned why the Board would register and license betting enterprises without ensuring that machine requirements are enforced to the detriment of unwary clients.

Deborah Kituyi, the Board’s Legal Manager, stated that underfunding and understaffing are two major issues hurting their operations. Only 36 of the 51 approved roles have been filled, leaving a 15-position shortfall.

The Board failed to prepare Statutory Regulations to regulate the industry, according to the Auditor General. In addition, in violation of the Lotteries and Gaming Act of 2015, it failed to compile a National Register of gaming or betting machines and devices. This loophole was discovered to complicate license monitoring and renewal, exposing industry participants to the risks of fraud and the use of improper machinery and equipment.

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