By Deo Wasswa
National youth council has commended government move to ban foreign sports betting companies in the country saying that it will give youth enough time to concentrate on their jobs and also to engage in other income generating activities.
According to Lilian Abel, the chairperson of National Youth Council, betting is affecting very many young people negatively in that even the little money they get they end up investing it in betting.
She noted that what the government and leaders should look at is engaging young people in productive activities that can produce money in their hands other than taking it away. ‘’ we don’t see how betting is changing the lives of young people and also supporting them in terms of raising finances’’ Lilian added.
She added that the government should have banned betting on Monday, but given that it has come out, it should not change its decision on the matter. “The government’s efforts should focus on creating opportunities for many youths that are likely to lose their jobs in this sector.” She said.
On Sunday 20th January 2019, the state minister for finance Mr. David Bahati announced that president Museveni had ordered the government not to register new sports betting company or renew licenses for the existing companies upon on expiry.
Information from national gambling board indicates that the government issued licenses to 40 general betting companies, 20 casinos, and 15 slot machines last year.
According to the research done by Economic policy research center in 2014 in Kampala found that the majority of Kampala residents 73.3% engage in gambling as source of livelihood as oppose to leisure.