Uganda’s gaming scene is buzzing, with the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board (NLGRB) raking in a whopping Shs 151bn in the 2022/23 financial year. That’s a massive jump from the Shs 17.4bn collected in 2015/16!
Since Denis Mudende stepped in as the Acting NLGRB Executive Director in 2021, replacing Edgar Agaba, who faced embezzlement charges, the numbers have shot up. Under his leadership, the revenue collection has soared by 200%, with the NLGRB pulling in less than Shs 45bn annually before he took the helm.
Looking Ahead: Big Bucks and New Ventures
Mudende’s got big plans. He’s aiming for a Shs 160bn collection by the end of 2023/24 and an ambitious Shs 300bn by 2024/25. The excitement doesn’t end there. The Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija, has given the thumbs up to Ithuba Uganda for the National Lottery, set to launch on May 4, 2024, with a $15m investment. This lottery is expected to contribute an estimated Shs 147bn over ten years, with a sweet mix of gaming tax and non-tax revenue.
The national lottery isn’t just about making money; it’s also about creating jobs and building infrastructure. We’re talking about 1,700 jobs, a primary data centre in Kampala, and regional offices in Gulu, Mbale, Arua, Mbarara, and FortPortal. Plus, there’s a focus on the development of sports facilities using lottery funds.
Cracking Down on Dodgy Sites
The NLGRB is also tackling the darker side of online gaming. They’ve developed an online sports betting and casino monitoring module to keep an eye on gaming activities and revenue collection and to protect Ugandans from harmful gaming effects. All online operators in Uganda need to get on board with this system by June 2024.
Sadly, some Ugandans have been caught in the web of fraudulent gaming sites, losing millions. But fear not; the NLGRB has been playing a superhero, blocking 17 illegal sites and seizing 2,869 unlawful gaming gadgets.
Under Mudende’s leadership, NLGRB’s revenue has soared, signalling a thriving gaming industry in Uganda. With new initiatives like the national lottery and a robust monitoring system, the future of gaming in Uganda looks not just profitable but also safe and well-regulated. The NLGRB’s efforts are not only boosting revenues but also creating jobs, building infrastructure, and contributing to community development, all while keeping a watchful eye on the industry’s integrity.