By Cedric Swanka
Globally, the gambling industry generates over a billion dollars in revenue. Sadly here in Botswana it is not a mature industry as yet and a lot needs to be done, so says the Gambling Authority Chief Executive Thuli Johnson.
This week, the authority interacted with stakeholders in their first ever stakeholder Pitso.
“This is our first stakeholder Pitso, it is an opportunity to share strategies, contributions of the Gambling Authority and also enable our key stakeholders to ask questions.”
The CEO continued to share the strategic intent of the Gambling Authority, he said “We will contribute to the transformation agenda and economic development of Botswana by diversifying the gaming industry through the development and implementation of a responsive licensing regimen and promotion of responsible gaming by the year 2028.”
Whereas the strategic objectives of the Authority, the CEO said “We want to prioritise stakeholder engagement and develop a robust policy as well as regulatory framework.”
“We want to devlop research, monitoring and evaluation systems, institute corporate governance and drive operational efficiency,” Johnson said.
The Gambling Authority Chief financial and administration officer Peter Kesitilwe said the commitment to engagement is borne out of the realisation that without teamwork and cooperation efforts made will measure for nothing.
“As a government department, Gambling Authority is committed to working together with all our stakeholders and communities within whose environment we regulate to foster and play a meaningful role in the economic diversification drive of our beautiful Botswana,” Kesitilwe said.
“We accept that other sectors of the economy, especially minerals and other commodities have served us well over the years, and it is time for enhanced speed on the economic diversification drive, and gambling and gaming present a noble opportunity for such a drive, especially on the face of the 4th Industrial Revolution,” Kesitilwe said.
“We stand on opportune ground as the gambling and gaming industry to participate in the government’s call to meaningfully play a role in the economic diversification drive,” Kesitilwe continued.
The Chief of staff Solomon Moremong ÔÇô Gambling Authority said “the gambling industry in Botswana is entering a growth phase. As the Authority they want to see Batswana participating in the growth of such an industry.”
The Gambling Authority held other stakeholder Pitso`s in locations such as Francistown, Palapye, to name a few and these stakeholder pitso`s will be based on stakeholder demand for now.