Uganda Puts Ban on Sports Betting

Uganda Puts Ban on Sports Betting

Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, has issued a public statement saying that he officially ordered his government to completely ban sports betting in this East African country.

No New Permits

Museveni has forbidden the issuing of new licenses to sports betting companies and has also prohibited the renewal of all existing permits.

David Bahati, Uganda’s Finance minister has revealed for the press that the president had to issue such a radical demand because the statistics showed a huge negative impact of sports betting on the young people of Uganda.

More and more young people have been investing the little money they have into sports betting hoping to win fast and easy money through gambling.

“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,“ Mr. Bahati said Sunday during a church service in Rugarama Hill in Western Kabale town.

“From now onwards, no new companies are going to be licensed. Those which are already registered, no renewal of licenses when they expire,“ he added while speaking at the closure of a four-day conference where he represented the President as chief guest.

Gambling Bad for the Young

The officials from this African country believe that gambling has drawn young men’s attention from hard work and that the betting craze is increasingly spreading across the nation.

Various church leaders have also been against the legislation of sports betting in Uganda for a while because they also claimed that it has a massive negative influence on young people and that it is highly addictive.

On the other hand, Jim Mugunga, a spokesman to the Ministry of Finance said that he wasn’t aware of the President’s instruction, but he added that he does not doubt his radical decision.

“I don’t know but since it was said by a minister, quote him. That’s good news,” Mr. Mugunga told the Uganda press.

In a radio poll in 2016, issued by TracFm, around 58% of respondents supported the banning or minimizing of sports betting in Uganda. Around 30% said no.

Legal Gambling in Uganda

There are 3 cities with gambling facilities in Uganda which have 13 legal gambling facilities available in total. The largest gambling city in Uganda is Kampala with 12 gambling facilities, 95 tables games, 359 gaming, slot, and video poker machines.

The largest casino in the entire country is Casino Simba which is located in Kampala. Casino Simba has 22 table games, 130 gaming and video poker machines.


“Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni ‘bans’ sports betting”,, January 21, 2019.

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