Government losing revenue through online gaming – Cabinet Minister

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By Reason Razao

HARARE: Government has approved the amendment of the Lotteries and Gaming Act following consultations that revealed that it was losing substantial amounts of revenue through numerous leakages and legislative inadequacies.

Prior to the approval by cabinet, the Lotteries and Gaming Board (LGB) had been operating under an Act that came into force in 1998.

Despite the Act being amended twice in 2001 and 2002, it had become inadequate in addressing evolving trends within the gambling space, which include online betting.

According to Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, essential amendments to the Act will include provisions allowing online gaming and compelling operators to incorporate technology compatible with LGB systems for monitoring and control purposes.

“Government is losing substantial amounts of revenue through numerous leakages and legislative inadequacies that need to be plugged,” Mutsvangwa said.

“The envisaged amendment of the Act will undoubtedly promote easy supervision and monitoring of gaming activities and mitigate money laundering as well as enhance revenue streams,” she added.

Mutsvangwa alluded to the need to adapt to the ever-changing environment through deploying appropriate technologies.

“Government cannot ascertain the actual levies due to it if it relies on statements provided by the operators,” said Mutsvangwa.

“The nation is being informed that the Lotteries and Gaming Board has since received presentations from companies on technologies that will enhance Government revenue collection within the Gaming Industry.”

Meanwhile, the LGB, according to Mutsvangwa, will continue engaging these companies in order to ensure that appropriate technologies are adopted for use in the country.