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Tanzania betting market incurs 4.5bn/-loss due coronavirus scare

TANZANIA betting markets have dramatically shrunk in light of the suspension of the world’s leading football leagues amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has left little for people to gamble on, the market has been particularly hard-hit because of a few bet online.

Impact assessment done by Gaming Board of Tanzania (GBT) during post coronavirus hiatus from March to May, has seen a massive decline in revenue collection from 8bn/-a month to 3.5bn/-.

GBT Director General James Mbalwe told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that gaming industry was among the first to be hit hard after major European football leagues were suspended.

“Though in Tanzania we did not have a lockdown, people also slowed down to go even to the casino. But after several leagues commenced in the world the situation has started to stabilize,” he elaborated

However, he was quick to point that they will not be able to reach this financial year target where they planned to collect more than 100bn / -.

Mbalwe supplemented that in the last weeks of June collection has slightly improved. “There is hope if the situation continues like this especially in the European League and economic activity opens up around the world, we believe our industry will be strong again.”

GBT also announced that it has commenced issuing online licenses in which, since the outbreak of coronavirus, they have issued such licences to six operators. The board is working on the application of the other two companies.

GAL Sports Betting website, Brand Ambassador Ivan Kalanzi told BBC Sport Africa that they have lost about 99 per cent in terms of sales in the East Africa market because people are not too much into online betting.

“We don't have too many online gamblers in Tanzania or Kenya, where we are more into betting houses,” he said

Statistics show that sports betting companies are taxed 25 percent, SMS are taxed 25 per cent, each slot machine is charged 43.11 US dollars, and the nationals’ lottery is taxed 20 percent and machine sites 25 percent.

Physical casinos are taxed 18 per cent while digital casinos are taxed 25 percent of revenue after winnings. The Gaming Board was established by the Gaming Act No 4 of 2003 that oversees the whole gaming sector in the country.

Mbalwe asserted that their main responsibility is to manage the gaming industry and protect the community and especially children thus they have launched a campaign protecting minor from participating in gaming activities.

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