Illegal lottery facilitators to face N$ 4 million fine

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta yesterday said people or media houses that are participating, promoting or facilitating lottery activities as defined within their publications or platforms without first confirming with the Lottery Board whether such activities are legal, will be liable to a fine of not more than N$4 million or a prison sentence of not more than 20 years.

“A person who participates in or conducts, facilitates, promotes or derives any benefit from a lottery, promotional competition or sports pool, conducts or organises, facilitates, promotes or derives any benefit from a lottery, promotional competition or sports pool or conducts, organises, promotes, devises or manages any scheme, plan, competition, arrangement, system, game or device which directly or indirectly provides for betting, wagering, gambling or any other game of risk on any outcome of any lottery, unless such lottery, promotional competition or sports pool is or has been authorized by or under this Act or any other law, commits an offence and is liable to a fine or imprisonment or both such fine and such imprisonment,” he said.

Shefeta declared this during the Implementation of the Lotteries Act of 2017 (Act No. 13 Of 2017) and The Gaming and Entertainment Act of 2018 (Act No. 13 Of 2018).

The two laws and respective regulations were operationalised in December 2021 after having undergone a rigorous consultation and review process. In addition, he said the ministry continues to observe illegal or unregistered lottery activities being conducted or announced in the country without prior authorization or approval of such activities by the Board.

“I would like to further encourage those persons; natural or juristic persons, that are not sure if such activities they are conducting fall within the category of the definition of lotteries activities to familiarize themselves with the Lotteries Act, Act No. 13 of 2017, to verify and seek clarity from the Lotteries Board before embarking on any scheme or undertaking illegal activities that may be classified as lotteries. This is to avoid any breach of the law or provisions thereof,” stated Shifeta

He also warned the public against participating in illegal lottery and gambling activities.

Furthermore, he said illegal gambling companies have been given an extended period to allow operators and companies to seek approval for their gambling activities before 31 August 2023.

“The transitional period for applications to register to operate gambling machines/activities was extended for the final time from March to 31 August 2023 (six months) and is soon coming to an end.

The Ministry, therefore, invited all current operators conducting any type of Gaming and Entertainment activities to proceed and hurry with their applications to operate to ensure that their business undertakings are legalized or approved by the Board and in law by or before the end of the transitional period,” he said.

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