Botswana is viable for gambling business 2020

Botswana a land-locked country situated in Southern Africa. Gambling is generally legal, a well-regulated and a functioning gambling board that permits all the most common forms of gambling.

Online casinos and via SMS are also permitted in Botswana provided operators apply for and receive proper licensing under the Gambling Act, 2012 though players remain free to visit offshore online betting sites if they wish as they is no law prohibiting bettors from wagering.

Further, gambling in Botswana is relatively a lucrative industry for the government with Casino, Sports betting and lottery are the most popular form of gambling that generate substantial amount of revenue to the country gaming board though, in recent time the country laid out plans to diversify its economy from the weaken diamond market and part of the government agenda to diversify was to focus on the service industry and the government intention was obvious when they made a statement to that effect of they intentions to privities the lottery sector, for interested investors to bid for the handling of the lottery segment of the country also according to the Gambling Authority Chief Executive Officer Thuli Johnson said since the Gambling Act 2012, the industry has create more jobs as well as generating substantial revenue to the government coffers through tax, he went further by saying that the casino sector employed a total of 231 employees.

This he said is a single digit decrease in number of employees during the financial year 2017/2018 which accounted for 237 employees and he said currently the country have collected over P80 million in casino levies, and the current financial year they have managed to collect P26 million only and the success to the increased can be link to the amount of tourist visitors in the country which is making the gambling business more viable in the country.

Although, online gambling is regulated in Botswana which has open the door for more gambling opportunities in the country and part of this could be link to the internet and the prevalent of smartphone usage in the country. Though, according to report Internet World Stats internet penetration in Botswana stood at 47.0 percent in 2019, with millions internet users while the smartphone internet subscription grew during quarter 2019, with increase of 50.0 percent which is relatively on the high side.

Tourism

Botswana is one of the hotspot of tourists’ destination in Africa which is rich in culture and the country is a paradise for travelers wanting to experience the true essence of an African safari. From exciting activities to unforgettable experience, Botswana has it all from the gambling sector to wildlife experience the country has over 10 brick-mortar casinos and according to Myra T. Sekgororoane, CEO of Botswana Tourism Organization he said the tourism economy grew 3.4% to exceed $2.5 billion mark in 2018, and according to World Travel & Tourism Councils (WTTC) annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the tourism sector the research across 185 countries this sector stood at 3.4%, nudging above the sub-Saharan African average of 3.3% contributed US$2.52 billion to the country economy.

This represent 13.4% of all economic impact in Botswana which has supported 84,000 jobs 8.9% of total employment was primarily driven by leisure travelers while 96% of Travel & Tourism spending in the economy was generated by leisure visitors and just 4% from business travelers is strongly weighted towards international travel 73% of spending came from international travelers and 27% from domestic travel, though Botswana is a jewel in the crown of Sub-Saharan Africa’s Travel & Tourism sector, though as stated above gambling is big business in the country which the tourism sector has contributed massively to the casino sector.

Economic & Human Development Index (HDI)

The country economy has enjoyed strong and stable growth since independence, with sizeable fiscal buffers and prudent policies playing a key role in shielding the economy despite diamond market weakness and volatility. The country achieve a strong growth of 4.5 percent in 2018, though, in 2019 a drop of 4% in 2019 reflecting muted trends in global diamond mining and a less buoyant private sector. Economic is expected to remain stable in the medium-term, with the authorities’ ability to implement a new growth model focusing on diversification strategy as outlined in the country National Development Plan (NPD 11). Though, the country HDI value for 2018 is 0.728 which put the country in the high human development category position it at 94 out of 189 countries which increase from 0.570 to 0.728, an increase of 27.6 percent in 2018.

What the future holds

Gambling is one industry that can’t be improved without technological innovations and the country gaming board has done a good job to legalize online gambling in the country. Though since online gambling is allowed and Botswana is one of the few countries in Africa that online gambling is regulated which shows the country willingness to diversify the country economy and gambling has been one of the service industry that is thriving in this country.

Article by Adeleye Awakan
Associate/Editor www.gbc.ng Africa’s digital gaming news portal. For consultant, Africa gambling space, Bookmaker’s review, Content, thoughtful leadership article Africa gambling industry: feel free to contact me [email protected].com, Linkedin Adeleye Awakan.

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