Betting Companies Run to Court over ‘Stringent’ Govt Rules

Two betting companies have run to the Constitutional Court, protesting against government’s decision to impose on them a Shs250m initial capital requirement for any company seeking to join the betting business.

In constitutional petition filed against the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board and the Attorney General, the two companies, Game concepts Ltd and Home Bet Ltd, say the government order is discriminatory in nature as it seeks to deny ordinary citizens the chance of joining the gaming and betting business.

“This derogation of the petitioner’s constitutional rights is not acceptable or demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society,” the petition reads in part, adding that the government order leads to creation of monopolies in the industry.

Through their lawyers, Byenkya, Khika & Co Advocates, the petitioners want to court to declare the government order unconstitutional.

They also want the court to issue an injunction against the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Authority and government, preventing them from imposing any new conditions on their business.

The petitioners said that Section 40 of the Lotteries and Gaming Act, 2016 and Regulation 30 of the Lotteries and Gaming (licencing) Regulations 2017, which imposes the requirement of a security bond of Shs500m for either betting operations or a total of Shs1b for both is inconsistent with Article 40 (2) and Article 21 of the Constitution

“These conditions impose an onerous financial burden calculated to prevent the participation of ordinary citizens from gaming and betting industry,” they allege

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