Zambia Youth Association has said that the fact that Zambia is losing millions of Kwacha via illicit gaming and betting demonstrates that there is widespread corruption at the Lotteries Board, which is responsible for regulating the sector, in the battle against corruption.
Maurice Malambo, the executive director of the organization, expressed regret that the nation may be losing vital resources and asked for an inquiry into the issue to be launched. He said that the discovery was a strong sign that the board of directors in charge of overseeing the sector had been compromised. Mr. Malambo asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the issue and report back to him.
According to Malambo, the revelation that the nation loses about K800 million in illicit gaming is a sad read and a strong indicator that there is corruption in the management of this sector.
It was astonishing that the nation could lose such large amounts of money despite the fact that it had a fully functioning regulatory body in place at the time. Despite the fact that it is necessary, stakeholders should conduct an audit of the legislative framework governing the sector. He said that several of the regulations that govern the operations of the casino sector were out of date and had gaps that allowed for unscrupulous activities to take place.
“We believe that the rules that govern casino operations are out of date since financial-related crimes are the most urgent problems in other areas of the globe,” he said.
Malambo urged the Zambia Revenue Authority, the Zambia Tourism Board, and the Ministry of Finance to work together and close loopholes in order to put a stop to illicit gambling betting and money laundering in the country. However, the exponential development of Zambia’s iGaming betting and retail form of betting, along with the country’s antiquated regulations governing the industry, has been linked to the increase in illicit gambling and betting in Zamia. Meanwhile, despite the existence of old laws and the actions of the authorities, the Zambian gaming industry has attracted the attention of major European iGaming firms that have established their operations in the country, both domestically and internationally.
Though this may be attributed to the large number of young people who follow sports, it could also be linked to the increase in young people who participate in sports
betting and gambling, as well as the expanding tourist industry. In addition to drawing top casino operators from across the globe, especially from China, the land-based casino industry has risen to prominence in recent years. Zambia is widely regarded as the next hot-spot market for the gaming industry, according to numerous observers. As previously said, these markets are attractive to investors. This would not have been feasible without the government’s digital infrastructure initiative, which has been in place for many years, even if the government has been sluggish to address the rules governing the gambling industry in general. Despite this, the digital realm continues to develop. According to the Global Digital Yearbook, Zambia’s mobile internet users have increased to 6.92 million actives, accounting for 39 percent of the country’s total population of 17.87 million people (see chart).
Between 2015 and 2020, according to data from the 2018 National Survey and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by households and individuals in Zambia, the proportion of individuals who own a smartphone as a share of all people who own a mobile phone subscribed to a local network increased from 13.5 percent to 43 percent between the two years. As a result of technological advancements such as increased internet prevalence and ownership, as well as increased smartphone use, gambling and betting are now more accessible than they have ever been before.
Meanwhile, the Zambia gaming board’s promptness in granting a new gambling license has been praised as well.
In turn, the nation has become the preferred market for major European companies like as Betway, BePawa, Melbet, and Bola Bet, amongst others, who have established their names in the hearts of the country’s young people. As a result, illicit gaming and betting, as well as money laundering, have flourished in the country, which has risen to become one of the most popular destinations for betting and gambling activities in recent years. At the same time, the growing number of gaming businesses in Zambia is a source of worry, which is one of the primary reasons why the head of the youth organization has sought an inquiry and has called for the regulation of the country’s casino industry.