AN INSIGHT ON GAMING LAWS OF TANZANIA, A SPORT IN ITS PRIME

Published by Kemilembe Barongo

Gaming activities have been trending widely due to the wide market base and public interest in the constantly developing industry especially amongst the youth. These activities range from videogames to casino slots to betting activities and have been subjects of interest in both the old and young age groups.

To ensure that licensees comply with all legal requirements, the Gaming Act establishes a board (The Gaming Board of Tanzania) to govern all gaming activities in Tanzania and to ensure compliance with the law. 

What we need to Know

According to section 26 of the Gaming Act Cap. 41 and its related amendments, the Gaming Board may issue the following licenses:

• Casino license for conducting table games and slot machines (including Internet casino license for conducting casino games through remote devices with internet connection)

• Licenses for Slot machines or route operation for promotion of slot machines business in a shop

• Manufacturer’s certificate for manufacturing of gaming equipment including its spare part

• Seller’s or distributor’s license for supplying, selling, or servicing gaming equipment

• Key gaming employee license for a person in charge of any gaming activity at all times

• Accreditation license for a person engaged in non-gaming activity within gaming premises

• Support license, required for a person employed in the gaming activities or a gaming employee

• A retail gaming license which is required by a retailer on a premise on which he maintains sole and exclusive legal possession of the entire premise for which he is issued

• SMS lottery license for conducting SMS lotteries for commercial purposes

• Principal license for sports betting and slot machines operations

• Internet sports betting license

• Sports betting terminal license

• Certificate of suitability for license of gaming activities

To be granted with the License, the following shall be considered by the Board, That: -

o The applicant has never been denied a gaming license by the Gaming Bord of Tanzania or any other jurisdiction;

o The applicant has never had a gaming License suspended or revoked here in Tanzania or another jurisdiction;

o The applicant has never withdrawn an application for any gaming license anywhere for whatever reasons;

o The applicant Possesses a gaming premises that are deemed suitable by the Gaming Board of Tanzania; 

o Complies with the provisions of the Act and the Gaming Board Regulations, 2003;

o The applicant has not been convicted of any criminal offence involving fraud or dishonesty and

o Has proof of adequate financial availability to pay all obligations and to provide for adequate working capital to finance the gaming operations. 

o And can comply with other applicable conditions such as; Clean taxation record, Technical Ability, Credit Worthiness, Clean compliance status, Good Business Reputation, State of Art Technology and Requisite Capital Investment

The Minimum Investment Capital for a local Company interested in running gaming operations shall be USD 300,000.00. For purpose of this requirement, Local Company means a company incorporated in Tanzania and whose majority shareholders are/ is a citizen of Tanzania.

Minimum Investment Capital for a Foreign Company is USD 500,000.00. For the purpose of this requirement, Foreign Company means a company incorporated outside Tanzania or in Tanzania but whose majority shareholders are foreigners. In event there is equal stakes in the company between local and foreigner, the minimum capital shall be USD 400,000.00 or equivalent to Tanzania Shillings.

Applicants are also required to test and obtain certification for their devices, management systems and game software that they will deploy in their gaming activities. These systems and games should be tested against applicable standards. The law imposes a mandatory gaming tax on each licensed gaming activity. Where a person fails or defaults to remit tax or part of the tax, the Commissioner shall, by demand notice, require such person to pay immediately the demanded amount of tax plus interest, and such demand notice shall constitute a final demand notice.

Gaming activities have generated much revenue for its stakeholders over the recent years. Although it is a very profitable sector it is also a very highly regulated sector due to the high stakes and large market base. All licensees and prospective licensees should thus ensure that they comply with the enlisted laws and pay all relevant taxes to avoid penalties and fines for non-compliance.