Rwanda gambling operations commenced

Rwanda’s government finally agreed to allow gaming operators and other essential activities in the country to resume their business operations in the country in a communiqué meeting reached by the cabinet chaired by the president of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, on October 27, 2020.

The cabinet approved the resolution of the previous meeting held on October 12, 2020. The report is, of course, an intriguing development to the gaming operators in the country that have been out of business for over 5month plus in the country and which has been one of the biggest catalysts for gaming operators in the country is the government banned on online gambling this development is, evident that it, has been a challenging year for operators in Rwanda unlike in some other African countries that iGaming betting and gambling is not prohibited.

In comparison, the Rwanda government is the first African country to impose a total lockdown, welcoming reports for gaming operators and other essential business activities. Thus, the government has set some measures that gaming operators must adhere to upon fulfilling COVID-19 preventive measures.

At the same time, further guidelines are detailed to be communicated and provided by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in due time. However, Part of the communiqué meeting agreed and shared with the operators is that the government stated that gaming operators should be aware of its stand regarding the opening of business and that all measures will be reviewed after 15 days upon health assessment. However, as mentioned earlier, online gambling is not regulated, and it is illegal in Rwanda to offer such. But, in recent years, the Rwanda government has proposed a Bill to legislate online gambling, but it has still been met with setbacks over the years.

Consequently, the coronavirus pandemic seems to be the turning point, making the government look inward to consider it one of the country’s top priorities since the virus surface in the country that saw the total lockdown of business for several months to control the spread of the virus. As previously mentioned for gaming operators in Rwanda, it was a complete shutdown for them as online gambling is not regulated neither allowed in the country. Land-based casino operators and retail sportsbook operators suffer the worse hit. The crisis, as made the government vows to consider technology in the critical sectors that the government carries out its operations especially sectors that generating substantial revenue to the government coffers and the Rwanda gaming sector is no exception that has been contributing to Rwanda economy since 2008 to 2012 the industry recorded a cumulative gross sales of Rwf37 billion ($61 million) payout of 50.6 million, Gross gaming revenue of $10.5 million collected by operators has been rejected into Rwanda economy, over 350 new jobs created and generated approximately Rwf 820 million corporate Taxes (PAYE and NSSF).

The industry keeps growing yearly. By the time iGaming gambling and betting becomes legal, it is expected that the Rwanda gaming and gambling industry will boom and attract more foreign investors in the sector as against the current operators that include Africa bet, PremierBet, and many others.

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