Govt tightens gambling law… nationwide inspections of businesses underway
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has started conducting nationwide inspections of all gambling and casino operations to create a database of licensed and unlicensed businesses.
The ministry’s spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said the inspections commenced in Windhoek last week and are expected continue to the rest of the country until such a time the exercise is completed.
He noted the inspections are being carried out in compliance with a High Court order to the minister of environment and tourism to appoint inspectors in accordance with Section 4 of the Casino and Gambling Houses Act, 1994.
“The exercise upon completion is expected to identify all establishments and businesses where gambling and casino activities are taking place. Our targets specifically are accommodation establishments, casino and gambling houses, shebeens, bars and cuca shops,” Muyunda stated.
In 2018, tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta, who tabled a draft law that proposes to regulate the gambling industry, said Namibia has 260 licensed slot machine operators, of which six are casinos, while 254 are gambling houses.
At the time, he also noted there were a total of 2 845 registered slot machines (1 145 in casinos and 1 700 in gambling houses), which contribute N$22 million to government coffers annually.
Government estimates there are roughly 20 000 unlicensed gambling machines in about 2 600 illegal gambling houses countrywide.
He said it should be noted that no machines will be confiscated during this exercise and all owners of such establishments are, therefore, requested to corporate with the inspectors.
Furthermore, he said upon inspection, owners will be required to provide information pertaining to the name and type of business; name of gambling house or owner; gambling house license number; gambling machine owner; number of machines; make, mode and serial number of each machine.
Equally, he explained the collection of this data is to the benefit of both government, casino and gambling machine operators, as it will make the application process to obtain licenses easier when the new Act becomes operational. The ministry advises the public to guard against criminals that may take this opportunity to pretend to be inspectors and request bribes in exchange for licenses or wanting to confiscate their machines.
Muyunda cautioned inspectors are appointed government officials and will always be in government registered vehicles with their appointment letters and national documents. firstname.lastname@example.org
2020-02-10 07:18:32 | 18 days ago