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Casinos, Go-lotto, JADA, Premier Lottery have all robbed Ugandans of their hard earned money.  Gambling has been adopted as a marketing strategy by many firms.

Telecom comapnies and beverage companies directly use gambling as a marketing strategy. Telecom companies run gambling programmes throughout the year. Years back, men were made to stand holding on a car with the gambled promise that the contestant who successful held on to it for seven years would take the car! Some of them ended up in hospital from the effects of their motionless posture and greed for free things.

Gambling done by the common people is criminalized by the police. Pool, draft, Rudo, and MWESo, are not enjoyed by  Local play ‘Kano Kafuna, Kali Tekafuna’ and those who are lucky end up getting free accommodation behind bars.

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One police officer, after arresting two petty gamblers, warned:

“Gambling makes people spend all their money and when they become poorer, their only source of income is crime.”

The officer probably didn’t know that there are registered gambling parlours where some formerly rich men have gone bankrupt.  Or that there are sports betting kiosks that have transformed many immigrant Indians into millionaires.

Sports betting is gambling. Some who win actually never get paid. It reminds of a story I read of one powerful country that felt it was not easy to stop online drug traffic but it was possible to tax the illicit trade. Screwed thinking, you may say. Is the case different in Uganda where some law makers are proposing increasing taxes on sports betting to dissuade people from the business?

The selective application of the law. Whether played in Kampala Casino or on the streets any town in Uganda, it remains gambling. If the law says gambling is unlawful, then the crackdown should start from the casinos in Kampala. If my Commerce teacher deceived, then let it be made clear to me and others like me that gambling is actually a lawful economic activity, so that I open up my own local gambling outfits.

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