THE government last week hiked licensing fees for all lotteries, casinos and betting shops which are now pegged at $250 000.
In an extraordinary government gazette, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe fixed the new rates that have come into effect immediately.
“It is hereby notified that the minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage has, in terms of section 65 of the Lotteries and Gaming Act [Chapter 10:26] as read with sections 16 and 23 of the betting and totalizator Control Act [Chapter 10:02], made the (reviewed the fees) regulations,” reads the notice.
The verifying and processing of a permanent casino licence or lottery licence applications were also fixed at $250 000.
The renewal of a totalisator licence, verifying and processing totalisator licence application is up to $50 000 while the issue or renewal of a gaming house licence or verifying and processing a gaming house licence application is now fixed at $50 000 as well.
For the issue or renewal of a bookmaker’s licence or the verifying and processing bookmaker’s licence is also set at $50 000.
Zimbabwe has plenty of licensed land-based casinos and a State-run lottery game.
The Zimbabwe Lotteries and Gambling Board regulates gambling activities within the border under the Lotteries and Gambling Act.
If players win any money while horse or sports betting or pool betting, they have to pay the government a 10 percent tax. If they win a jackpot while playing casino games, they have to pay a 15 percent tax.
Licensed gambling activities generate sizable revenue for the government of Zimbabwe and most of this revenue is generated by the activities of tourists who enjoy playing casino games in its land-based casinos.
As previously mentioned, the Lotteries and the Gambling Board of Zimbabwe regulates and supervises all gambling activities within the borders of the country. It complies with the Lotteries and Gambling Act, which was passed into law in 2000.
The board also grants licences to individuals and companies who want to run betting and gambling establishments within Zimbabwe.
In recent years, there has been a huge proliferation of betting houses driven by the popularity of European football especially the English Premier League.
Before the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, betting houses were always full to the brim particularly on weekends with punters placing their bets on different matches.
Most of the betting houses had also invested in online platforms allowing punters to place bets remotely using mobile money transfer platforms and Visa cards.
With betting houses currently closed due to the lockdown, punters are currently placing their bets online.