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Resolving the Regulatory Challenges in African Sports Betting

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By Johan Meyer

Reports indicate that Africa has the potential to be one of the biggest online gambling market places in the world due to its passion for football and its wide penetration of mobile phones.

Sports betting popularity is very evident in East African countries especially Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and picking up at a speedy pace all over the continent. As a mobile wallet integration operator, we’ve been working on the continent for years and in my experience in the gaming industry, it’s clear that one of the biggest challenges is regulations. It affects both bookmakers and the regulators as well. Regulations do assist nations on a number of fronts including the social impact of gaming and taxation.

A number of countries have implemented them and some still working on them.Some regulators on the continent are finding it very difficult to properly regulate for tax betting activities. They do not make use of systems that are reliable and bookmakers are not declaring all their activity as expected and this usually leads to regulators enforcing taxes that are harmful to the industry. Some bookmakers are also finding multiple ways to operate illegally in countries bypassing all taxes and licensing requirements. This is detrimental to the industry and causing the regulatory bodies to become stringent. It’s a catch 22 situation that we believe can be solved by introducing proper systems and taxation methods in the industry.

Currently, regulators are very cautious when it comes to the industry and allowing new bookmakers into the market. With proper systems in place bookmakers can be monitored closely, taxation can be done more fairly and benefits can be derived by all. Being actively involved in the industry we have learned what’s required by the regulators across Africa and we have developed a set of tools that will not only benefit the regulators but the financial industry as well as the bookmakers. Most solutions only focus on one player, either the bookmaker, the financial institution, or the regulator, but Wallettec’s solution is built to benefit all parties involved. By doing this we have developed a system that can be adopted by the different players without changing the way they operate or without exorbitant infrastructure costs.

As a payment partner, we developed a platform that enables regulators to monitor all betting transactions in real-time. All payment activity can be monitored without breaking any privacy laws or without exposing any private or confidential information to the regulators. Regulators can pull real-time or historical reports and tax calculations can be automated. One of the biggest challenges for regulators is getting accurate data to allow them to calculate tax and with our system, this issue is resolved and eliminated. This also allows tax fraud to be eliminated which means a higher tax income for countries from the betting industry. This can lead to possible tax reductions and regulators being more willing to allow new bookmakers to enter the country.Systems like this allow the industry to grow efficiently and exponentially and something that Africa needs and deserves.

Johan Meyer is the CEO of Wallettec

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