Last week, Amne Suedi, Shikana Law Group principal, was delighted to attend the Sports Betting East Africa Forum on 9 April 2019.
Shikana Law Group is a corporate law firm in Tanzania, with a special focus in investment into the East Africa Community, as well as the mining and natural resources sector.
The Sports Betting East Africa Forum was organised by Eventus International based in Kampala, Uganda.
Amne Suedi was invited to speak on licensing requirements and the future of regulations within the East African Community.
Amne Suedi was appointed to the task force with East African Community Member States Gaming Regulators and betting associations in the East Africa Community. The task force seeks to harmonise gaming legislations.
The following points were put forward by Shikana Law Group’s Amne Suedi:
1. Countries within the East African Community must introduce “responsible advertisement” and responsible gaming.
Currently no jurisdiction within the East African Community market has comprehensive advertising regulations in place. This leaves room for market violations.
As a result, the Regulator has suspended local advertising in Tanzania and is re-assessing and re-evaluating appropriate standards.
2. Responsible gaming needs to be at the forefront of the license application stage. Applicants should demonstrate how their investment is responsible.
The Gaming Boards are to demand responsible gambling by making it an integral part of the licensing procedure.
Investors are to move away from the narrative that paying taxes and creating employment is being responsible. This outdated approach is no longer accepted by market authorities.
Amne Suedi concludes that the real impact of investment into the East African Community and responsible gaming must be seen.
3. Data protection legislation is envisioned. Tanzania seeks to implement comparably more comprehensive legislation.
Tanzania has no data protection laws as yet. However, provisions regarding confidentiality and privacy are widely dispersed.
Amne Suedi stated that regulators need to protect player data. Consumers and consumer data must be protected where investment into the East African Community is envisioned.
4. Amne Suedi recommended that Gaming Boards harmonise their rules.
A single operator invests in several markets. Gaming companies in Kenya will also roll out investment into the East African Community, with Uganda and Tanzania in particular.
However, the reality is that the waiting time for licensure can exceed a year in Tanzania. Companies then go elsewhere with their investment into the East African Community and have to follow new procedures with new timelines and costs.
A centralised licensing system would boost efficiency and make investment into the East African Community more attractive.
Harmonisation of processes also reduces investigation costs. The gaming Boards will also have better control of the calibre of investments into the East African Community.
5. Shikana Law Group’s Amne Suedi concluded that gaming Boards must educate the Investment Promotion Agencies and Investment Centers that gaming operators are also investors to benefit from investment incentives.
Incentivised investors require investment capital of at least USD 500,000 in Tanzania – the amount required for inbound foreign investment. As such, sanctioning investors is especially unfair.
Shikana Law Group is a corporate law firm in Tanzania which deals with the ins and outs of investment into the East African Community, as well as the mining and natural resources sector. For more information on our services, contact Shikana Law Group today.