- Betting expected to commence in June
The Gambling Authority has issued nine betting licenses and has indicated its intention to soon issue licenses for Limited Payout Machines (LPMs).
This comes after a rigorous process undertaken by the Authority, culminating in the issuance of these licences earlier this year.
CEO Peter Emolemo Kesitilwe stated that the Authority initiated the process by drafting a Request for Application for Bookmaker and Totalisator Licenses.
The draft RFA document was made available to the public for comments. Following the public’s input on potential additions or exclusions, the draft RFA was then submitted back to the Authority. Kesitilwe emphasized that considering the Authority’s international affiliations, they also sought comments from the international community.
“After comments were made, the draft was returned to us. There were a few comments on betting from both local and international community. We incorporated the comments into the final draft of the RFA and then put it out to the public for sale,” he revealed.
Bookmaker and Totalisator License
Kesitilwe said after advertising the RFAs, the Authority recorded 71 purchases for Bookmaker and Totalisator License RFAs. After that, he said they moved to the second phase of Applicant/Bidders’ Conference. This is where the Gambling Authority unbundles and explains the RFAs in detail, to enable budders to fully understand the entire document. Further to that, the Authority allowed bidders to make comments for the Authority to consider and make amends.
In furtherance, after the attendance, the Authority issues every attendee with a certificate of attendance, to prove that indeed the bidder was in attendance. Kesitilwe emphasized that the Conference is compulsory and acts more like a site visit. The certificate forms part of the application/bid when bidders submit. According to Kesitilwe, there were 44 attendees at the Conference.
After that, the Authority opened for the bidders to apply on the 19th of November 2023.
Out of the 44 who attended the bidders’ conference, 18 bidders applied for the Bookmaker and Totalisator License.
“It was a hefty process, but we received the applications and then entered the process of investigation and evaluation. This is where we investigate criminal records and inspect cites of the bidders who have already existing operations,” he said, adding that the next process was the evaluation and awarding stage.
Further, Kesitilwe said on the betting licenses, there were 1 totalisator license, 4 route bookmaker licenses and 4 independent bookmaker licenses. All in all, there are 9 licenses available. So, of all the 18 bidders, only 9 licenses have been awarded.
But Kesitilwe added that there are other opportunities because in each of the 4 routes operates 4 sites, which will result in 16 sites. He added that all sites are operated by citizens.
The totalisator license also operates 32 sites.
A bookmaker facilitates gambling, most commonly on sporting events. A bookmaker sets odds, accepts and places bets, and pays out winnings on behalf of other people. A totalisator is a device showing the number and amount of bets staked on a race, to facilitate the division of the total among those backing the winner.
Betting is expected to commence in June this year.
Limited Payout Machines
A limited pay-out machine means a gambling machine with a restricted bet and prize.
The main role players in the LPM sector can be defined in three specific categories, namely route and independent operators, site operators and the National Central Electronic Monitoring System (NCEMS). Route/independent operators are companies that are licensed to own, manage and operate LPMs throughout the country. Site operators are privately-owned hotels, pubs or eating establishments, totalisator or bookmaker outlets which may be situated throughout the country. NCEMS is a centralised LPM monitoring and evaluation system operating on a long-term contract basis by Route Monitoring.
The same process was done, in terms of the drafting of the LPMs RFA. Further, it was opened for public scrutiny (local and international), and the final draft was amended and sold to the public. After the issuance of the RFA, Kesitilwe noted that 47 purchases were recorded. After that, 34 bidders/applicants attended the bidders/applicants’ conference and were also awarded the certification. Currently, Kesitilwe said applications have been opened and that they are in the process of receiving the applications.