African conference to focus on growing opportunities in region

Casino Review - Uganda Africa Conference region
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This year’s Annual Sports Betting East Africa 2017 conference is set to explore gaming across the continent as the local betting industry continues to expand.


2017 marks the third Annual Sports Betting East Africa 2017 conference in Kampala which will bring together participants from across the continent alongside European industry experts.

The two-day symposium, running on April 10-11, will seek to explore strategies needed to improve the sports betting sector for stakeholders as the local industry continues to expand.

Manzi Tumubweine, chairman of the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board, claims the Ugandan gaming and betting industry will become stronger and better as the country continues to host international conferences regularly.

“These conferences are good for Uganda because they introduce international best practices to not only Ugandan firms but also to us, the regulators,” said Tumubweine.

The local sports betting industry and the conference have both grown steadily in recent years and 2017 will be the second time in three years that Uganda hosts the event.

Yudi Soetjiptadi, the project director of Hong Kong-based Eventus International who organise the event, claims that the African continent is projected to become the largest market opportunity for the global gaming industry over the next five years, hence the need to align it to the rest of the world.

Soetjiptadi said: “This is the only dedicated sports betting conference in Africa where we focus on the latest opportunities, trends and strategies in this niche area.”

Discussing the potential of the event, Anton Opaman of Betway Uganda, explained he would like to see more policy discussions at this year’s conference.

“As usual I will attend the conference next month. However, I hope real issues with the right policymakers are discussed more as opposed to treating the forum as an opportunity for suppliers to showcase to the industry,” he says.

With the continent posed to become a vibrant industry, (due to the ‘risk taking’ nature of Ugandans) Opaman believes it is now time for the government to embrace betting and view it as a fully-fledged industry and not one “for a few opportunists taking advantage of the people”.

“I hope the conference can get the government and other stakeholders to understand betting economics in order to take informed policy decisions,” he added.

Organisers of the Annual Sports Betting East Africa 2017 conference believe the symposium is being held at an opportune time for Uganda to examine the impact of the recently enacted Lotteries and Gaming Act 2016. The act aims to reform and consolidate legislation on lotteries, gaming, betting and casino activities, and has accordingly repealed the National Lotteries Act and the Gaming and Pool Betting (Control and Taxation) Act.

Commenting on the new law, which will become fully operational this year, Tumubweine noted: “We are slowly but steadily strengthening the regulations. The aim is to have fewer but serious operators who are willing to stick to the letter of the law and serve Ugandans better.”

Over the last five years, tighter regulations have meant a reduction in sports betting firms and slot machines, with numbers reducing from over 100 to about 40.

Other pertinent issues that the upcoming event, to be held at Kampala Serena Hotel, will address include:

– Understanding why sports betting is spreading so fast across Africa

– Embracing transparency and accountability in sports betting

– Discussing the evolution of the mobile phone as a game changer for the sports betting business

– Case studies on how to engage sports bettors during their off-season and above all

– The challenge of sustaining the sports betting industry in Africa

Registering for the conference can be done online at the Sports Betting East Africa website where an evolving agenda has been uploaded.

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