In an unexpected turn of events, the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board of Uganda has issued a critical notice to the public, marking a shift in the country’s gaming and betting landscape.
As of the 2nd of February, 2024, Advanced Gaming Limited, trading under the well-known brand 1XBET, has formally notified the regulatory authority of its decision to cease all business operations within Uganda. This announcement comes under the regulatory framework established by section 4 (j) of the Lotteries and Gaming Act 2016, underscoring the legal backdrop against which this closure occurs.
Advanced Gaming Limited, a company that has been operational in Uganda since its incorporation on the 7th of September, 2019, has been a notable player in the gaming industry. Holding licenses numbered NLGRB-GB-82-003 and NLGRB-С-82-004, issued on January 1, 2023, the company operated 1XBET, a platform that offered Ugandans a range of betting and gaming options.
Despite its relatively short presence in the market, 1XBET managed to cultivate a significant user base, engaging with nearly 2000 followers on Instagram and establishing a varied team of employees, as evidenced by their LinkedIn business page.
The closure directive advises all punters affiliated with 1XBET to withdraw their funds immediately and to cease all betting activities with the operator, marking an abrupt end to its services in the country. This move leaves many questions unanswered, particularly concerning the reasons behind the sudden decision. No official statement has been released by 1XBET regarding the closure, leaving room for speculation among users and observers alike.
This development is part of a broader trend observed across the African continent, where international betting companies have been retracting their operations. Similar exits include Bwin Zambia‘s parent company Entain departing from Zambia and Mozzartbet Ghana‘s parent company Company Mozzart withdrawal from Ghana, highlighting a challenging environment for gaming operators in these markets. Despite these withdrawals, 1XBET continues to operate in other African countries, such as Nigeria, where it remains active through 1XBET Nigeria.
The reputation of 1XBET has been marred by controversy in the past, with several countries launching criminal investigations into its operations. Notably, in 2023, Morocco’s National Judicial Police Brigade initiated a mass investigation into 1XBET among other gambling websites for allegedly operating an illegal gambling enterprise. Such incidents have cast a shadow over the company’s global operations and may contribute to the context of its closure in Uganda.
For Ugandan bettors and the wider public, Betting Companies Africa (BCA) assures ongoing updates on licensed and regulated betting sites in Uganda, ensuring that the community has access to safe and legally compliant gaming options. The sudden departure of 1XBET from Uganda’s gaming scene serves as a reminder of the volatile nature of the betting industry and the importance of regulatory compliance and transparency in these operations. As the situation unfolds, stakeholders eagerly await further details on the closure and its implications for the country’s gaming landscape.