Ithuba to run Uganda’s National Lottery

Uganda hopes to earn an average of Shs 147bn annually from the lottery. The Ugandan government has issued a 10-year licence to Ithuba Uganda, a subsidiary of South African firm Ithuba, to run a national lottery in what Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said was a move to raise public funds and support social causes.

Kasaija said the signing of the partnership was a sign of ‘Ubuntu’ and would go a long way in strengthening relations between Uganda and South Africa.

The Minister said the agreement with Ithuba will “support the implementation of the national budget and good causes in areas of public infrastructure, education, health, and sports development.”

Kasaija said the government hoped to earn Shs 87bn from tax revenues and Shs 60bn from non-tax revenue for good causes, “translating into an average of Shs 147bn annually.”

The national lottery will be operated through the National Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board (NLGRB).

The chairman of the board of directors of Ithuba Uganda, Bob Kabonero, said the Uganda National Lottery signifies a new era of progress and possibilities with its multifaceted capacity to contribute to the gross domestic product, propagate job creation and wealth, and provide essential government funding.

“This initiative is more than just a game of chance; it is a strategic tool that can significantly impact society,” – said Kabonero.

He said that, at its core, the National Lottery represents a preferable alternative to traditional revenue generation methods.

“By engaging citizens through their voluntary participation, we create a means of funding government and community services that is both economically sound and socially acceptable, which aligns seamlessly with our commitment to citizen empowerment and participation,”

– the businessman, who also runs Kampala Casino, observed.


With the signing of the agreement, Ithuba will now commence the ordering of lottery machines, the development of the required infrastructure, and the undertaking of sensitization campaigns. Kasaija emphasised that only those over 18 years of age will be allowed to participate in the national lottery and that gambling must be done responsibly.

Parliament last week questioned the NLGRB officials on reports that they were yet to have laws in place to manage the national lottery.

“We still have not sorted out issues of standards, and now there is a mega national lottery coming up. We previously had the Premier Lottery and JADA, which made some people rich,” – said MP Joel Ssenyonyi.

However, Denis Ngabirano said that in December 2021, the board advertised and made a call for applications to conduct the national lottery.

Speaking at the signing ceremony today, Ngabirano said NLGRB conducted a two-year due diligence exercise that proved that Ithuba was a “fit and proper” company with the required financial capacity, expertise, and experience to run Uganda’s national lottery.

“This is a journey we started in December 2021 in the quest to find a suitable company to conduct the national lottery,” – said Ngabirano.


He said the board could enforce compliance “to ensure the lottery is conducted in the interests of the public.”

Ithuba officials said they would invest $15 million to enable the national lottery to take off. In the UK, the National Lottery began in November 1994. Since then, it has raised over £43 billion for good causes. Ithuba is the current license holder for the South African national lottery and is the country’s sole lottery operator. It collects funding through the sales of number-based lottery tickets and various other lottery games and distributes it to prize winners, the NLC and business expenses.

During the financial year ending in 2019, Ithuba raised more than USD 100 million in support of good causes. The government directed the funds raised to three sectors: charities, sports and recreation, and arts and culture.

Kabonero said the cross-sectoral benefits of the National Lottery on the economy are profound.

“It empowers the government to sustain ongoing projects while unlocking resources for new endeavours,” he said, adding, “This infusion of funding holds the potential to revolutionise the landscape of charity and volunteer work, enriching our society in ways that transcend monetary gains.”

Kabonero emphasised:

“The potential for the National Lottery to drive sustainable socioeconomic development cannot be understated. Its capacity to multiply job opportunities and create wealth, alleviate government borrowing, and provide the fiscal impetus for a more secure society with elevated living standards is unparalleled. The transformative effect that the National Lottery can bring to Uganda’s socio-economic landscape is undeniable.”


About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.