The transformation of the gaming industry in Zimbabwe hinges on the adoption of proactive strategies that propel competitiveness in line with the ease of doing business reforms which dovetail with President Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” policy.
This was said on Saturday by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe during his keynote address at the Lotteries and Gaming Board’s three-day strategic planning workshop held in Mutare.
Senior Government officials, the Lotteries and Gaming Board led by Dr Eugenia Chidhakwa and representatives from the gaming industry, attended the workshop.
“The alignment of the legislative framework to the contemporary environment of Lotteries and Gaming will go far and yonder bringing ease of doing business within the industry,” said Minister Kazembe.
He implored the board to urgently review the legal framework in view of the rapid technological changes which have been experienced in the lotteries and gaming industry.
The board was supposed to put mechanisms that guarded against the proliferation of illegal online gaming activities.
“One of the major assignments which I entrust the Lotteries and Gaming Board to deliver before the end of this year is to review the outdated Lotteries and Gaming Act.
“The world in which we live and operate is constantly mutating, in terms of technology, and this no doubt demands that we keep pace, through constant plan reviews.”
“I am also aware of unsanctioned online betting prevailing in our sector and I am calling upon the Lotteries and Gaming Board to look into this issue.”
“Going forward the board must consider strategies to embrace this new invention and use of technology in betting as it widens our revenue and stakeholder base in a manner that does not jeopardise our standing as a country in as far as money laundering is concerned.”
The workshop came against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in a series of lockdowns, which further limited the operating hours even following the subsequent relaxation of the control mechanisms.
Dr Chidhakwa said the board was going to identify priority programmes seeking to improve on their constitutional mandate.
“We are to come up with a coordinated process for developing and completing the final strategy in a manner that allows for extensive consultation, coordination and cooperation in lotteries and gaming for the development of the industry,” she said.
It is anticipated that the Lotteries and Gaming Board will adopt appropriate measures that will support the recovery of the gaming industry going forward.