Gambling licensing plan is expected to empower local businesses and creates about 2797 jobs.

Currently, government is presently implementing an extensive gambling licensing plan that is balanced with a robust responsible gambling campaign, with the aim of harnessing the potential of the industry to generate sustainable employment opportunities.

There are currently nine licensed gambling operators in Botswana. Officially opening the International Association of Gaming Regulatory conference on Tuesday, President Masisi said government will adapt its mission to reflect the changing global landscape of the gambling industry. “Our licensing plan supports small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) and will bring investment into the country to create jobs and diversify economic and social value for our citizens.” Masisi highlighted that SMMEs will be supported through the digitization and digitalization of national priorities through the development of a National Central Electronic Monitoring System for ease of compliance to provisions of the Gambling Act, 2012 to lower their costs of participation. He said the country is dedicated to conducting research in the area of gambling in Botswana, in line with the Human and Social Development pillar of the National Vision 2036. “Primarily because we aim to be at the forefront of introducing interventions based on evidence and scientific data in order to ensure a healthy, safe, informed, and self-sustained gambler.”

The Financial Intelligence Act, 2022 requires the Gambling Authority, in its capacity as a Supervisory Authority, to fulfil certain tasks which include the regulation and supervision of licensed operators to ensure compliance with the law. However the findings of a baseline study that was conducted in 2020 on the prevalence of problem gambling in Botswana, indicated a prevalence of five percent. Further, studies were conducted on Risk Factors for Problem Gambling in Botswana as well as the Socio-Economic impacts of Gambling in Botswana and the preliminary results have shown that Botswana is faced with issues of illegal gambling, problem gambling and underage gambling, especially online gambling as is the case the world over. Gambling Authority Board Chairperson, Marvin Torto explained that Botswana is struggling to create a safer gambling environment but the Authority is currently developing the gambling standards which will be internationally accepted.

He revealed that about $1.7 trillion is estimated to be lost on illicit betting markets each year. International Association of Gaming Regulators President, Jason Lane pointed out that the annual IAGR conference is more than just meeting of the minds but a reflection of IAGR Board’s Priorities. “Our Program is emphasising fresh thinking, innovative ideas and a comprehensive exploration of regulatory issues within the gaming sector."