Parliament to debate Gaming Bill

13 September 2017 | Government

The National Assembly is expected to debate the Gaming and Entertainment Control Bill this week.

The sixth session of parliament resumed yesterday and will run until 23 November.

The long-awaited bill, which seeks to raise the legal gambling age from 18 to 21 and to introduce tougher penalties to protect gamblers, came about in 2008 to provide for the regulation of gambling premises and gambling machines.

This followed an increased prevalence of gambling machines in shebeens, cafes and shops.

The bill, which has been with legal drafters for over six years, will repeal the Licensing of Totalisators Ordinance 5 of 1938, and the Casinos and Gambling Houses Act of 1994.

The Gaming and Entertainment Bill makes provision for the lifting of a moratorium on the issuing of gambling house licences that has been in place since January 1997.

However, according to information published on the website of the ministry of environment and tourism, applications for casino licences and the transfer of gambling house licences are still being processed.

It states that by November last year a total of 254 gambling house licences and six casino licences had been issued.

Bills referred back by the National Council without amendments are the Whistleblower Protection Bill of 2017, Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Amendment Bill 2017, One-Stop Border Posts Control Bill of 2017, Usury Amendment Bill of 2017, Regional Council Amendment Bill of 2016 and the Namibia Time Bill of 2017.

Other bills sent back with amendments are the Lotteries Bill of 2017, Namibia Revenue Agency Bill of 2017 and Local Authorities Amendment Bill of 2016.

According to parliament's public relations officer, David Nahogandja, reports detailing the outcomes of parliamentary standing committee visits and investigations during the recess in August will be tabled during this session.

“Several parliamentary standing committees undertook visits to the regions to investigate government projects and conduct public hearings on items referred to them by the House,” he said.

STAFF REPORTER

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