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iGaming and Sports Betting in Africa: How is It Regulated in 2023?

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The surge in popularity and demand for online gambling and sports betting has gripped Africa in recent years.

More and more players than ever are signing up to sports betting sites and online casinos in a bid to win money, but this boom in activity is riskier than other parts of the world due to the lack of regulation on the continent.

Yet, things are improving. Over the last 12 months, several African regulatory authorities have upgraded their legislation, while the number of online resources dedicated to responsible gambling is growing.

Read on to find out how.

Ghana leads the way

Within Africa’s diverse patchwork of nations, online gambling and sports betting remain illegal in 38 out of 54 countries. Many of these prohibitions trace their origins back to colonial-era legislation aimed at curbing unlawful gambling practices and haven’t been able to keep pace with progressive gambling legislation like the UK’s gambling laws and regulations.

One country, however, leads the way toward a breakthrough. Ghana has distinguished itself as a nation keen on embracing both offline and online gambling and betting activities through comprehensive legislation. Regulated by the Ghana Gaming Commission (GGC), both online and offline gambling is fully legal and governed, with licenses issued to casino and sports betting operators.

This approach ensures a controlled and responsible gambling environment for players who continue to generate a high demand for iGaming.

The GGC’s involvement extends to online gambling. It provides a regulatory framework that promotes fair play, responsible gambling practices, and industry integrity.

Many experts believe Ghana has managed to bridge the legislative gap between offline and online gambling, so that now online players benefit from the same protection and regulatory oversight as in-person gamblers.

South Africa: The biggest iGaming nation waiting on a reform bill

South Africa, boasting the highest GDP on the continent, plays a pivotal role in the industry. Approximately half of all gambling revenue in Africa is generated here, with sports betting contributing most of it. The popularity of betting on sports like rugby, horseracing, football, and cricket is set to double over the next five years, making a prime African jurisdiction.

Its National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP) established after the era of Apartheid is one of the most progressive regulators in Africa and successfully regulates offline gambling activities. However, its scope does not extend to most forms of online gambling, creating a regulatory gap in this rapidly growing sector.

There are hopes that the Remote Gambling Bill of 2014 could be revived which could lead to the full legalization of internet gambling, but this still hangs in the balance as of the time of writing.

Kenya: a leader in progressive legislation

Kenya has emerged as an important player in progressive African online gambling legislation.

Since 2011, online gambling, including sports betting, has been legal. Notably, online sports betting was legalized in 2010, which kickstarted the vibrant industry Kenyans see today.

The country’s approach involves privatizing its online gambling sector, fostering healthy competition among nearly 100 operators. The Betting Control and Licensing Board regulates and licenses gambling activities, maintaining integrity and player protection, while unlicensed platforms are blocked to ensure player safety.

Kenya’s transparent 20% gambling tax on gross revenue and a 15% tax on winnings also contributes to the nation’s revenue.

This visitor-friendly approach sets Kenya apart, allowing tourists to engage in online gambling as much as locals do.

Botswana: an underrated gambling industry

Botswana may not stand out as an obvious candidate for progressive gambling laws but it outranks most other African nations in the area.

Gambling has been legal since 1961 and the 2012 Gambling Act unified the industry under the Botswana Gambling Authority’s jurisdiction. The entity oversees licensing, emphasizing legality and standards. While online gambling lacks specific regulations, players can currently engage freely, encouraged by a rising 60% internet penetration.

Tourists and expatriates can also participate. Although blood sports and related betting are prohibited, the country’s average 1.8 million annual visitors are a reflection of its gambling-friendly environment.

The Botswana Gambling Authority licenses various forms of gambling, but online gambling licenses aren’t issued yet. Transparent tax applies to gross revenue, while details about gambling winnings taxation remain elusive.

Botswana’s adaptable stance means they’re well-placed to implement responsible gambling practices for players including providing educational online material.

The fight for further regulation

Many African countries either outlaw gambling and refuse to entertain the notion of a regulated iGaming industry, despite fears that this leads to gambling addiction and unscrupulous betting sites.

In some of these nations, a fervent push for enhanced gambling regulation is gaining momentum. Concerns surrounding player protection have led to collaborative efforts like The Gaming Regulators Africa Forum (GRAF), which is rallying nations to implement effective regulatory frameworks.

This collective effort brings together national gambling regulators from several African nations at an international conference, including Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. It operates under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), emphasizing consensus-based decision-making among its members.

In action since 2003, GRAF is one of the continent’s best hopes of a safer gambling industry for its players. If it gets its way, then we may see more progressive stances within Africa very soon.

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Who is Harpal Randhawa, Indian billionaire who died in Zimbabwe plane crash? Here’s all you need to know – India TV News

Indian business tycoon Harpal Randhawa, who was killed in a
Image Source : X Indian business tycoon Harpal Randhawa, who was killed in a plane crash in Zimbabwe.

Indian mining tycoon Harpal Randhawa and his son were among the six individuals killed on September 29 when their private plane, Cessna-206, crashed near a diamond mine in southwestern Zimbabwe following a technical glitch.

Randhawa was the owner of RioZim, a diversified mining company producing gold and coal as well as refining nickel and copper. The plane that crashed was also owned by RioZim and was bound towards the Murowa diamond from Harare.

The plane experienced a technical fault, possibly resulting in a mid-air explosion, before plummeting into Peter Farm in the Zvamahande region. Confirming the crash, a statement from RioZim read, “The Murowa Diamond Company (RioZim)-owned white and red Zcam aircraft had left Harare for the mine at 6 am and crashed about 6km from Mashava.”

Who is Harpal Randhawa?

The 60-year-old Randhawa was the founder of private equity firm GEM Holdings worth $4 billion. He had vast gold, diamond and coal mining interests in Zimbabwe and was a prominent figure in the country.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Randhawa has served as the chairman of the GEM group for 30 years after its formation in July 1993. Aside from that, he was a partner at Sabre Capital Worldwide for 12 years and a senior adviser at the real estate firm Safanad for three years.

Randhawa completed his education at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the University of London. As per reports, he was planning his next business venture. His wife’s name has not been revealed yet.

The billionaire’s son, 22-year-old Amer Kabir Singh Randhawa, is a trained pilot, who also died in the tragic accident on Friday. The names of the other deceased passengers are yet to be released by police.

Reactions to Randhawa’s death

Although the names of the deceased passengers are yet unknown, journalist and filmmaker Hopewell Chinono, who was a friend of Randhawa, confirmed the deaths of Randhawa and his son.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Harpal Randhawa, the owner of RioZim who died today in a plane crash in Zvishavane. Five other people including his son, who was also a pilot but a passenger on this flight, also died in the crash,” wrote Chinono on X.

“My thoughts are with his wife, family, friends and the RioZim community.” The RioZim company secretary said a full statement will be issued. “I am not in a position to address the media right now. We will however be issuing a statement as soon as possible,” he said.

Many people expressed grief and condolences over Randhawa’s death on social media. Meanwhile, the local community and law enforcement agencies are working together to manage the aftermath of the plane crash.

(with agency inputs)

ALSO READ | Indian mining tycoon, Harpal Randhawa, his son among six killed in plane crash in Zimbabwe

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Fraud-accused Zimstat boss granted US$200 bail

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By Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) Director General, Taguma Mahonde has been granted US$200 bail by Harare magistrate, Marewanazvo Gofa following his arrest last week.

Mahonde is facing fraud allegations with prosecution alleging that he abused his powers to get away with crimes he committed at his workplace.

He is facing another charge of contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act and an alternative charge of obstruction of justice.

The magistrate said it was his right to be granted bail.

During the bail hearing Investigating Officer, Eric Chacha said Mahonde would threaten ZACC’s witnesses into silence or hiding if granted bail.

“The degree of interference is so severe to the extent that the accused found some tactics and used his position as the Director General of ZimStats to fire the witness (Matiza) from work. Realizing that Matiza was working with ZACC, he found some dubious charges and caused the witness to be suspended.”

Chacha said after firing Matiza, Mahonde allegedly called him threatening to “deal” with him.

It is alleged that he said, “I will get bail like what the NSSA boss and the clerk of Parliament did and once I’m back at work I will deal with you accordingly.”

Chacha said if Mahonde is released, he might go back to his workplace and continue to intimidate his subordinates and they will not assist ZACC.

“You could even tell during the interviews of the subordinates that they were being interviewed under threat and fear as they were always saying that they would be facing the challenges Matiza is going through. They are afraid of the accused.” Chacha said.

Mahonde is accused of squandering Zimstat US$4 000 by claiming school fees allowance for a non-existent child.

It is further alleged that when ZACC’s investigations into his alleged corruption started in March this year, he tried to cover up his offense by refunding ZW$756 047.33 but it amounted to US$826 as he had used the interbank rate of $915.

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ZB Bank heist: Four acquitted to be reimbursed forfeited funds

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By Staff Reporter

FOUR suspects who were acquitted in the ZB Bank money heist case which made headlines two years ago will have their forfeited money reimbursed.

The four are Trymore Chapfikwa, Tozivepi Chirara, Dennis Madondo and Tatenda Gadzikwa.

They filed an application for disposal before Harare magistrate, Clever Tsikwa ruled there was “no justification for the State to keep the money when there is no longer a case against the four.”

The amount to be reimbursed was not mentioned.

The prosecution had protested the release of the funds arguing that there was no evidence to prove that seized money did not belong to the bank.

“The cash before this court as an exhibit cannot be lawfully possessed by the applicants.

“They did not provide proof of the source of their ownership. In this inquiry of whether an exhibit can be claimed by an accused, the accused has an onus to show that they are entitled to the money.” said prosecutor Loveit Muringwa.

The four were jointly charged with Shadreck Njowa, Tendai Zuze and Neverson Mwamuka who were convicted on Friday.

Njowa, Zuze and Mwamuka await their sentencing on Wednesday.

Prosecutors proved Njowa the kingpin of the heist and had been hiding in South Africa before coming back into the country in November 2022 assuming the dust had settled.

Njowa and his accomplices robbed US$2,7m and ZW$43 090 that was in the commercial bank’s transit truck headed for seven branches across the country in January 2021.

The security crew and the gang then staged the robbery along the Harare-Chinhoyi highway just after Nyabira Business Centre.

They had reportedly armed themselves with pistols, knives, and three vehicles which they used to carry the cash in transit.

One of the guards, Fanuel Musakwa, transporting the money was in contact with the heist crew.

Court heard the guard requested the driver to pick up some of the accomplices as passengers before they stole the money.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Muringwa has submitted the State’s aggravation urging the court to impose a harsher sentence for the convicted trio.

“The crime had a negative economic impact on the complainant and resulted in reasonable material or economic loss.

“The complainant is in the banking business, the loss of such vast amounts of money certainly had a negative impact on their business as income was lost because of the lack of cash that could have been circulated to its clients earning it the much-needed interest. Wherefore the State prays that the accused be heavily sentenced of the charged offense of robbery as aggravation factors outweigh the mitigatory factors,” he said.

The three will submit their mitigation Tuesday.

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