Corti Paul Lakuma, a Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) has asked government to devise medium term regulatory and tax measures to ease planning and management for Uganda’s gambling industry.

“There are constant changes in the percentage of tax levied on gambling, a given tax rate should be applied for a medium term of 3 to 5 years to enable proper planning,” he advises.

Once this is achieved, Lakuma believes that the sector could yield for government 100-150 billion shillings in taxes. Such revenue ambitions may possibly be realized if Uganda Revenue Authority installs the central monitoring system for gaming operators.

Lakuma was speaking during the 2018 Betting and iGaming (BiG) East Africa summit held at Serena hotel Kampala from April 10-11, 2018 where he contributed to two panel discussions on the first day.

The panels deliberated on; how increased gambling taxation is boosting development in East Africa and how gaming operators and regulators can work together to ensure compliance given the increasing regulation in East Africa.

Waul at BiG summit 2018esite

According to Lakuma, employment, rental income and taxes are the immediate dividends arising from the fast growing gambling sector.

He however warns that government may not catch up with the growing gambling technology and called for self-regulation amongst gaming operators.

This was reiterated by Manzi Tumubweinee, the Chairman Lotteries and gaming Regulatory Board of Uganda. “Gambling is the fastest growing activity in Africa and majority gamblers are computer illiterate,” Tumubweinee said, calling for appropriate government regulation to ensure that gamblers are not cheated.

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Gambling regulation puzzle

According to Tumubweinee, any betting regulatory and taxation mechanism must ensure that;
Government raises revenue
Adequate standards are set and maintained
Investors gain profits
Gamblers get deserving rewards 

Taxes from gambling

a) 2010 - 4.7 billion shillings
b) 2013-2014- 11.1 billion shillings
c) 2017-2018- 30 billion shillings

Recent EPRC Research on Gambling 

Policy Brief: Adequacy and effectiveness of Uganda’s gambling regulatory framework

Research Series: Socio-Economic Effects of Gambling: Evidence from Kampala City Uganda

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