Namibia lottery is illegal, but is there still hope?

Namibia lottery is illegal, but is there still hope?

If you thought laws should always make sense, you might reconsider after reading this. In Namibia, a country located in the southwest of Africa, all lotteries operate illegally. And guess what? The existing National Lottery Board is aware of this!

The Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta stated that people should expect to be cheated when playing the lotteries, since no regulations are in place for this industry. Casinos and lotteries cannot be sanctioned until a concrete legal act is available.

Yesterday, Shifeta formed a casino and lottery board responsible for examining the existing practices and laws. The Minister takes this measure preemptively so that, in the future, when a REAL law will exist, operators can be aware of the dos and don’ts of owning a gambling license. This is indeed a commendable effort, unfortunately it does not solve the current issue the country is facing.

Lotteries in Namibia could be compared to street-roaming, homeless people. Begging is illegal and so too are the existing lotteries that operate in an unlawful manner. But, hey! It’s a free world! And people are allowed to get stung by these illegal operators if they so choose, right?

At the moment, three of the six licensed casino operators are conducting business in the country. Taking into account that only part of the National Lotteries Act is currently being enforced and that the Minister is calling on the Casino and Gambling Houses as well as the newly established National Lottery board, members of the latter are given a period of 12 months, starting with June 1st, to fill in the gaps in the Act. Thus, the “bad guys” shall turn into shiny, new, spiffy “good guys” and will be able to conduct lottery businesses legally.

The main issue members are expected to focus on is the fact that Namibia does not yet include laws that protect gamblers rights. Shifeta commented on this:

“We don’t need to have many (casinos) given the number of our population and many other social evils casinos can cause. We also don’t want to limit the rights of individuals who want to gamble. But in the process we want to protect those who might be harmed in the process like the dependents of those addicted (…) That is why the new bill will look deeper into a person being addicted. We will put regulations in place to protect children, wives and husbands, because addiction is a very serious problem. And you cannot say a person must not gamble, it is a vested right which can only be lifted by the court.”

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