Push for Proper Gaming Legislation Takes Centre Stage at the Gaming Tech Summit Africa 2024

Push for Proper Gaming Legislation Takes Centre Stage at the Gaming 
Tech Summit Africa 2024The gaming industry in Africa is witnessing rapid growth, which necessitates robust regulatory frameworks. The Gaming Tech Summit 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya, provided a platform for regulators across the continent to discuss and develop comprehensive laws to govern the industry effectively.

At the summit, representatives from over 12 countries shared their unique perspectives on the African gaming industry. Attendees gained valuable insights into the diverse regulatory approaches and challenges faced by different nations.


 

Diverse Insights from Across Africa

Dr. Jane Makau, Chairperson of the Betting Control and Licensing Board, highlighted that Kenya’s gaming industry is 58 years old, yet it operates under a 1966 Act. She mentioned the Kenya Gambling Control Bill 2023, which aims to refine the gambling sector, prioritise consumer protection, and promote responsible gambling. This bill also proposes the creation of a Gambling Regulatory Authority to replace the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB). Judy Kericho, Head of Legal Affairs at BCLB, emphasised the need for stringent monitoring of operators’ compliance with licensing requirements.

Botswana’s 2016 legislation includes provisions for electronic monitoring systems. The country’s Gambling Authority is planning amendments to keep pace with advancements in online gaming, ensuring accuracy and effectiveness through gradual implementation.

Regulatory Developments in South Africa

South Africa is also making significant strides in gaming regulation. The country’s National Gambling Board has been working on updates to existing laws to address the rise of online gaming and ensure comprehensive consumer protection. The focus is on creating a balanced regulatory environment that encourages growth while safeguarding players' interests.

Future of African Gaming Regulation

Several countries, including Namibia and Nigeria, are at different stages of regulatory development. Namibia is in the process of establishing a regulatory framework to license all operators, according to Ben Shikongo, Chair of the Namibia Gambling Board. In Nigeria, which has the second-largest online gaming market in Africa, there is a pressing need for uniform regulation across states to protect consumers and operators.

During a panel discussion, Jean Claude, Director of the Rwanda Gaming Association, announced that a new policy would be introduced next year to cater to the growing demand for online gaming, with three licensed companies currently operating.

Paulo Jorge, Director-General of Angola’s Instituto de Supervisao de Jogos, highlighted the importance of leniency in regulation to attract investors, especially in countries recovering from civil unrest and economic challenges. He stressed that Angola needs investor-friendly regulations to boost the gaming industry and support economic recovery.

The summit underscored the critical role of regulation in protecting consumers, promoting responsible gambling, and fostering economic growth across Africa. As the industry continues to expand, the need for coherent and effective legislation becomes increasingly vital.

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