NTUNGAMO – The Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board (LGRB), Police and local authorities in Ntungamo district have Tuesday carried out an enforcement operation which saw at least 50 slot machines seized and impounded.
According to the district information officer, Anthony Kushaba, the Board jointly worked with Ntungamo district local government authorities and police to impound over 50 slot machines illegally operating in the district.
The crackdown followed complaints from parents to the RDC’s Office regarding the slot machines that parents say have caused laziness among the youths. Parents said the youths have refused to work and resorted to betting for quick gains.
George Bakunda, the RDC of Ntungamo later convened a meeting with sub-county Chairpersons across the district to discuss how best to resolve the concerns raised by parents.
During the meeting, Bakunda equally raised the issue of children who have made it a habit to steal from their parents so as to engage in betting and gambling.
“People don’t want to work, they only depend on stealing parents’ money for betting,” the RDC said.
On Tuesday, Leonard Ahimbisibwe, the Deputy CAO of Ntungamo told SoftPower News that he met with officials from the Lotteries and Gaming Board on Monday and that an MOU was signed between the Board and the district local government regarding the operations of slot machines.
“I was with Gaming Board members yesterday to sign an MOU that will help us have good working relations and to fight illegal betting in Ntungamo,” Ahimbisibwe said.
The impounded machines were picked from Ntungamo municipality, Rwashamaire town council, Kagarama, and Nyamununka and Rwamabondo town council.
The Deputy CAO however says that Tuesday’s operation only tackled part of the problem, and that many more slot machines which operate in contravention with the regulations remain in villages and trading centers.
“According to the gaming regulations, slot machines should not be located outside cities, towns and municipalities or town councils. So, whoever is operating them in villages is doing that illegally,” said Ahimbisibwe
He added that as authorities, they only know of four licensed slot machines owned by Fort Bet company, and that all these machines are operating in Ntungamo municipality.
“This [opeartion] was just a sample. But hundreds of slot machines are illegally placed in every village or center in Ntungamo”.
SoftPower News understands that no arrests were made during the crackdown. The impounded machines were transported to Kampala for destruction.
The Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board is a corporate body established under the Lotteries and Gaming Act No 7 of 2016.
The Board is mandated to supervise and regulate the establishment, management and operation of lotteries, gaming betting and casinos in Uganda.