1.   Short title


   2.   Interpretation




Establishment, Powers and Functions of Gambling Authority and its Board


   3.   Establishment of Authority


   4.   Seal of Authority


   5.   Powers and functions of Authority


   6.   Units of Authority


   7.   Establishment of Board


   8.   Appointment of Secretary of Board


   9.   Tenure of office


   10.   Disqualification for appointment to Board


   11.   Temporary members


   12.   Powers and functions of Board


   13.   Committees of Board


   14.   Vacation of office by Board members


   15.   Filling of vacancies


   16.   Expert and other assistance


   17.   Remuneration and allowances


   18.   Gambling by Board members




Meetings and Proceedings of Board


   19.   Meetings of Board


   20.   Confidentiality


   21.   Disclosure of interest by Board members


   22.   Validity of decisions


   23.   Signification of documents




Officers and Staff of Authority


   24.   Chief Executive


   25.   Appointment and dismissal of staff


   26.   Gambling by Authority staff




Financial Provisions


   27.   Authority's revenues


   28.   Financial year


   29.   Pension and other funds


   30.   Accounts and audit


   31.   Annual report




Gambling Licences in General


   32.   Operating without licence prohibited


   33.   Types and scope of licences


   34.   Application for licence


   35.   Inspection of premises relating to application


   36.   Police clearance


   37.   Issue of licence


   38.   Duration of licence


   39.   Refusal of licence


   40.   Renewal of licence


   41.   Revocation of licence


   42.   Revocation of licence following conviction


   43.   Surrender of licence


   44.   Transfer of licence


   45.   Request for additional information


   46.   Licence available due to expiration, surrender, etc.


   47.   Duplicate licence


   48.   Appeals


   49.   Display of licence


   50.   Licence levy


   51.   Board to appoint assistant to Authority




Casino Licences


   52.   Applicability of general licensing provisions to casinos


   53.   Licence required to establish or operate casino


   54.   Grant of casino licence


   55.   Activities authorised by casino licence


   56.   Operation of casino


   57.   Prohibition of use of the word "casino"




Bingo Licences


   58.   Applicability of general licensing provisions to bingo licenses


   59.   Requirement of bingo licence


   60.   Activities authorised by bingo licence






   61.   Applicability of general licensing provisions to lotteries


   62.   National Lottery


   63.   National Lottery Distribution Fund


   64.   Lawful lottery


   65.   Prohibited lottery


   66.   Private lottery


   67.   Promotional competition


   68.   Conditions in the promotion and conduct of lottery


   69.   Sale of lottery tickets


   70.   Printing of tickets for unlawful lottery


   71.   Scrutiny of National Lottery


   72.   Audit of accounts




Totalisators and Pools


   73.   Applicability of general licensing provisions to totalisators, etc.


   74.   Licence required to carry on totalisator business


   75.   Totalisator and betting pools


   76.   Totalisator transactions to be recorded


   77.   Prohibition for use of totalisator


   78.   Betting transactions not validated


   79.   Commission and levy






   80.   Applicability of general licensing provisions for bookmakers


   81.   Licence for carrying on bookmaker's business


   82.   Activities authorised by bookmaker's licence






   83.   Applicability of general licensing provisions to racing


   84.   Interpretation of Part XII


   85.   Unauthorised racing unlawful


   86.   Licence of racing meetings




Gambling Premises


   87.   Use of premises for unlicensed activities unlawful


   88.   Alterations to premises of gambling establishment




Gambling Machines and Devices


   89.   Unlicensed possession of gambling machines unlawful


   90.   Registration of gambling machine or device


   91.   Register of gambling machine or device


   92.   Supply of gambling machine or device


   93.   Identification of gambling machine or device


   94.   Transfer of ownership or possession of machine or device


   95.   Modification of gambling machine or device unlawful


   96.   Electronic monitoring system for machines




Registration of Certain Personnel


   97.   Registration of persons selling, repairing or testing machines


   98.   Refusal to register person


   99.   Suspension of registration


   100.   Testing agent licence


   101.   Calibration and certification of machines and devices




Licensing of Persons Employed in the Gambling Industry


   102.   Gambling industry employees to be licensed


   103.   Employee licence not transferable




Gambling in General


   104.   Interpretation of Part XVII


   105.   Advertising


   106.   Restrictions on advertising and promoting gambling activities


   107.   Extending credit to gamblers prohibited


   108.   Protection of minors


   109.   Excluded persons


   110.   Gambling debt enforceable


   111.   Events and contingencies on which gambling may take place


   112.   Place of gambling and settling gambling debts




Monitoring Social Effects of Gambling


   113.   Monitoring social effects of gambling


   114.   Code of practice


   115.   Education and counselling




Inspections and Enquiries


   116.   Appointment of inspectors


   117.   Powers of casino inspectors




Investigations and Surveillance


   118.   Right of certain officers to enter casino


   119.   Surveillance on gambling establishments


   120.   Licensee of gambling establishment to install surveillance equipment


   121.   Licensee and employees to report suspicious transactions




Miscellaneous Provisions


   122.   Gambling activities


   123.   Bets and wagers


   124.   Gambling in relation to illegal activities unlawful


   125.   Unlicensed gambling unlawful


   126.   Indemnity


   127.   Offences


   128.   Penalties


   129.   Operation of gambling establishments in general


   130.   Entrance fee


   131.   Sale, supply of intoxicating liquor


   132.   Prohibition of certain persons from entering casino premises


   133.   Conduct of licensees


   134.   Levy fund


   135.   Regulations


   136.   Repeal of Cap. 19:01 and Cap. 19:02


   137.   Savings


   138.   Transitional provisions



Act 7, 2012,
S.I. 84, 2012,
S.I. 31, 2016.

An Act to regulate gambling in Botswana; to establish the Gambling Authority; and to provide for all matters incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: Parts I to V 26th October, 2012;
Parts VI to XXI 1st April 2016.

Preliminary (ss 1-2)


1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Gambling Act.


2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

   "applicant" means a person who applies for a licence under this Act;

   "Authority" means the Gambling Authority established in terms of section 3;

   "betting" means making or accepting a bet on-


   (a)   the outcome of a race, competition or other event of any description;


   (b)   the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring; or


   (c)   whether anything is or is not true,

but does not include any bet made or stake hazarded in the course of or incidental to any gambling, and the expressions "bet", "betting" and "bookmaking" shall be construed accordingly;

   "bingo" means a game with a number of people, each having a card marked off as numbers are drawn, and the expression "electronic bingo" and "manual bingo" shall be construed accordingly;

   "Board" means the Board of the Authority established in terms of section 7;

   "bookmaker" means any person who-


   (a)   whether on his or her own account or an employee or agent of any other person, carries on, whether occasionally or regularly, the business of receiving or negotiating bets or conducting pool betting operations; or


   (b)   by way of business in any manner holds himself or herself out, or permits himself or herself to be held out, as a person who receives or negotiates bets or conducts such operations; and


   (c)   the expression "bookmaking" shall be construed accordingly;

   "casino" means premises on which gambling is conducted and in respect of which a licence has been granted;

   "casino game" means any game irrespective of whether or not the result of that game is determined by chance or a measure of skill, played with playing cards, dice, gaming machine or any other device used to determine win or loss in outcome of a wager for money or other valuable consideration;

   "Chief Executive" means the Chief Executive of the Gambling Authority appointed in terms of section 24;

   "family member" means, in relation to any person, his or her spouse, his or her child, parent or sibling;

   "game of chance" includes-


   (a)   a game that involves an element of chance and an element of skill;


   (b)   a game that involves an element of chance that can be eliminated by superlative skill;


   (c)   a game that is presented as involving an element of chance; and


   (d)   a game where a computer generates images or data taken to represent the actions of another participant or participants in the game;

   "gambling" means-


   (a)   betting (including pool betting) and bookmaking;


   (b)   gaming; and


   (c)   promoting or entering a lottery;

   "gambling activity" includes any activity described as such under section 122;

   "gaming" means playing a game of chance, for a prize;

   "gambling device" means any equipment or thing used in connection with gambling or betting to determine the result of a gambling activity, and includes any playing cards or dice, roulette wheel, electromechanical or electronic device;

   "gambling establishment" means any place opened, kept or used for the purposes of gambling by or with persons resorting to gambling, where any one or more of the following conditions are fulfilled-


   (a)   the gambling involves playing or staking against a bank, whether the bank is held by one of the participants or not;


   (b)   the nature of the gambling is such that the chances are not equally favourable to all participants;


   (c)   the nature of gambling is such that the chances on it lie between the participant and some other person, or if there are two or more participants, lie wholly or partly between the participants and some other person and those chances are not favourable to the participant or participants as they are to that other person; or


   (d)   any commission or percentage is charged in connection with the gambling, the stake or the winnings,

and, for purposes of this definition "bank" means the total amount of money set aside by a player or participant, or a team of players or participants for the purposes of gambling;

   "gambling industry" includes any matter regulated in terms of this Act, but does not include a regulatory authority;

   "gambling machine" means a machine constructed or adapted for playing a game of chance by means of the machine which-


   (a)   has a slot or other aperture for the insertion of money or money's worth in the form of cash, tokens or smartcards; and


   (b)   requires no action by the player other than the actuation or manipulation of the machine or apparatus in order to play the game of chance,

and, for purposes of this definition, "machine" includes an apparatus;

   "gambling revenue" means the total amount of all sums received as winnings by the licensee, including any amount deducted by the licensee for his or her benefit from any stake or bank in any game, less only the total of all sums paid out by him or her as losses in respect of games played under his or her licence;

   "licence" means a licence of a description specified under section 33;

   "licensee" means a person to whom a licence has been granted under this Act;

   "licensed premises" means the place or premises specified in a licence on which the activities authorised by means of that licence shall be conducted in terms of this Act;

   "lottery" means any scheme for the distribution of prizes by chance or lot in which the participants or a substantial number of them make a contribution for the purposes of participation in the chances of the lottery;

   "occupier" means, in relation to any premises, a person in actual occupation of the whole or any part of the place, whether by himself or herself, his or her employees, or agents;

   "owner" means, in relation to any premises, the person for the time being receiving or entitled to receive the rent, or his or her agent;

   "participant" includes, in relation to a game of chance, a person who discharges an administrative or other function in relation to the game;

   "pool betting" means betting made on terms that all or part of any winnings-


   (a)   shall be determined by reference to the aggregate of stakes paid or agreed to be paid by the persons betting;


   (b)   shall be divided among the winners; or


   (c)   shall or may be something other than money;

   "premises" includes the whole or part of a building, any place, whether open or enclosed, and any ship, boat or other vessel or a vehicle of any description;

   "private lottery" means a lottery which is conducted-


   (a)   for and by members of a social or sporting club which is not connected with any form of gambling;


   (b)   for and by persons who work on the same premises; or


   (c)   for and by persons who reside on the same premises,

and which is promoted and conducted by persons, each of whom is a person to whom, under paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), tickets or chance may be sold by the promoter and, in the case of a lottery conducted for the members of a social or sporting club, is a person authorised by the governing body of the social or sporting club to conduct the lottery;

   "prize" means, in relation to gambling, money or money's worth, and includes both a prize provided by a person organising gambling and winnings of money staked;

   "promotional competition" means a lottery conducted for the purpose of promoting the sale or use of any goods or services;

   "society" means a society registered under the Societies Act;

   "ticket" includes, in relation to any lottery or proposed lottery, any document evidencing the claim of a person to participate in the chances of the lottery;

   "totalisator" means the scheme for betting on a sporting event, known as a totalisator, or any other machine or instrument of betting of a like nature; and

   "winnings" means anything won, whether in money or in money's worth.

Establishment, Powers and Functions of Gambling Authority and its Board (ss 3-18)


3.   Establishment of Authority

   There is hereby established an authority to be known as the Gambling Authority, which shall be a body corporate with a common seal, capable of suing and being sued in its own name, and, subject to the provisions of this Act, of doing or performing all such acts or things as bodies corporate may, by law, do or perform.


4.   Seal of Authority

   (1) The seal of the Authority shall be such device as may be determined by the Authority and shall be kept by the Chief Executive.

   (2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson and the Chief Executive or any other person authorised in that behalf by a resolution of the Board.

   (3) Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate would not be required to be under seal, may be entered into or executed without seal on behalf of the Board by the Chairperson or any other person generally or specifically authorised by the Board to do so.


5.   Powers and functions of Authority

   The powers and functions of the Authority shall be-


   (a)   to regulate and control the development of gambling establishments in Botswana;


   (b)   with the approval of the Minister, to define the areas in which gambling establishments may be established and operated;


   (c)   to receive and consider applications for licences, to verify information contained in or submitted with the application, and to issue, refuse, suspend, or revoke licences;


   (d)   to receive, consider and decide on applications for the transfer of licences;


   (e)   to ensure that such sums of money as may be due by licensees are duly paid and accounted for;


   (f)   to ensure that licensees maintain the gambling establishments in respect of which they are licensed, to the standards set out in this Act;


   (g)   through the exercise by any of its officers, or any person authorised by it, to enter and inspect any gambling establishment at such times and in such manner as it may consider necessary to ascertain whether the terms and conditions of a licence are being observed; and


   (h)   to do all such things as are necessary or convenient for the purposes of carrying out its functions.


6.   Units of Authority

   (1) The structure of the Authority shall include the following Units-


   (a)   the Licensing Services;


   (b)   the Compliance and Monitoring Services;


   (c)   the Funds Disbursement Agency; and


   (d)   such other Units as may be necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Authority under this Act.

   (2) The Licensing Service Unit shall be responsible for the review of the manner in which licences are issued under this Act.

   (3) The Compliance and Monitoring Services shall be responsible for-


   (a)   the inspection of premises in terms of this Act; and


   (b)   the evaluation and approval of such control systems as may be specified in terms of this Act.

   (4) The Funds Disbursement Agency shall be responsible for-


   (a)   the collection of all levies and revenues provided for under this Act;


   (b)   the accounting for all levies and other fees received by the Authority in terms of this Act; and


   (c)   the disbursement of the funds of the Authority.

   (5) The following shall be the joint responsibility of all the Units-


   (a)   communication and cooperation with regional and international gambling associations;


   (b)   the development and review of the policy relating to gambling in Botswana, and the carrying out of research related to that policy; and


   (c)   the development and review of legislation.


7.   Establishment of Board

   (1) The powers and functions of the Authority shall be exercised and performed by a Board consisting of the following members appointed by the Minister-


   (a)   four members, not being public officers, of whom-


      (i)   one shall be a person with knowledge and experience in the gambling field,


      (ii)   one shall be a member of the legal profession,


      (iii)   one shall be appointed by reason of his or her knowledge and experience in the field of community or socio-economic development, and


      (iv)   one shall be a representative of the community;


   (b)   one member who shall be nominated by the Minister responsible for trade and industry;


   (c)   one member who shall be nominated by the Minister responsible for finance;


   (d)   one member who shall be nominated by the Minister responsible for town and regional planning; and


   (e)   one member who shall be nominated by the Minister responsible for tourism.

   (2) The Chief Executive shall be an ex-officio member of the Board.

   (3) The Minister shall appoint a Chairperson of the Board from amongst members of the Board, and the Vice Chairperson of the Board shall be elected by the members of the Board from amongst themselves.


8.   Appointment of Secretary of Board

   (1) The Chief Executive shall, with the approval of the Board, appoint a Secretary, who shall be suitably qualified and experienced.

   (2) The Secretary of the Board shall attend all meetings of the Board but shall have no right to vote, and shall be responsible for the accurate and complete recording of the Board's proceedings and decisions.

   (3) The Secretary of the Board shall be accountable to the Chief Executive and to the Board for his or her functions and responsibilities.

   (4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), the conditions of service, including the remuneration package of the Secretary, shall be set by the Board with the approval of the Minister.


9.   Tenure of office

   (1) A member of the Board shall hold office for a term not exceeding three years, and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further term.

   (2) The Chairperson shall hold office for a period of three years, and he or she shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further term.


10.   Disqualification for appointment to Board

   A person shall be ineligible for appointment to the Board if he or she–


   (a)   has, in terms of any law in force in any country–


      (i)   been adjudged or otherwise declared insolvent or bankrupt and has not been rehabilitated or discharged,


      (ii)   made an assignment to, or arrangement or composition with, his or her creditors, which has not been rescinded or set aside;


   (b)   within a period of 10 years immediately preceding the date of his or her proposed appointment, has been convicted-


      (i)   in Botswana, of a criminal offence for which he or she has not received a free pardon, or


      (ii)   outside Botswana, of an offence which, if committed in Botswana, would have been a criminal offence;


   (c)   has been sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction to imprisonment, with or without the option of a fine, whether that sentence has been suspended or not, and for which he or she has not received a free pardon;


   (d)   has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct or misconduct by a competent tribunal, board or body legally constituted for the purpose of adjudicating on matters of discipline and conduct;


   (e)   is a member of Parliament or a Councillor;


   (f)   has been certified as being mentally ill or disordered;


   (g)   has a controlling, financial or other interest in, any gambling activity, or his or her business partner or associate, or family member, holds an office in, or is employed by, any person, organisation or other body, which has an interest contemplated in paragraph (h); or


   (h)   has failed to disclose an interest in terms of section 21, or attended or participated in the proceedings of the Board while having an interest contemplated in that section.


11.   Temporary members

   Where the Minister is satisfied that a member of the Board is temporarily incapacitated by illness, absence or other cause from satisfactorily performing the duties of his or her office, the Minister may, by Notice published in the Gazette, appoint temporarily to act in his or her place, a person other than a public officer, and, in the case of the Chairperson, a public officer for such period not exceeding six months as the Minister may specify .


12.   Powers and functions of Board

   The Board shall-


   (a)   determine the policy regarding gambling in Botswana;


   (b)   oversee the performance of the Authority; and


   (c)   review, where necessary, the objects and purposes of the Authority and recommend, to the Minister, such changes, consequent upon such review, as it considers appropriate.


13.   Committees of Board

   (1) The Board shall establish such committees as it considers necessary to assist it in the performance of its functions, and may delegate, to any such committee, such of the Authority's functions as it considers necessary or appropriate.

   (2) Without derogating from the generality of subsection (1), the Board shall establish the following committees-


   (a)   the Training and Localisation Committee whose function shall be to empower citizen employees with the requisite skills to localise expatriate held positions in the gambling industry; and


   (b)   the Excessive Gambling Prevention and Rehabilitation Committee, whose main purpose shall be to guide and monitor the development and implementation of programmes and strategies aimed at preventing addictive or compulsive gambling, and rehabilitating compulsive gamblers.

   (3) The Board may appoint to such committees, such number of members as it considers appropriate, and such persons shall hold office for such period as the Board may determine.

   (4) Subject to the specific or general directions of the Board, a committee may regulate its own procedure.

   (5) Meetings of a committee shall be held at such times and places as the committee may determine, or as the Board may direct.

   (6) Each committee shall keep minutes of its meetings and shall keep the Board informed of its activities.

   (7) A member of a committee shall be paid such remuneration, and such other allowances, incurred in connection with his or her service in the committee, if any, as the Board, with the approval of the Minister, may from time to time determine.


14.   Vacation of office by Board members

   A member of the Board shall vacate his or her office and his or her office shall become vacant-


   (a)   in the event of the occurrence of anything which would have rendered that member ineligible for appointment as a member of the Board;


   (b)   upon his or her death;


   (c)   upon the expiry of one month's notice, given in writing to the Minister, of his or her intention to resign his or her office;


   (d)   if he or she is absent from three consecutive meetings of which he or she has been given notice, without reasonable excuse; or


   (e)   upon the expiry of such time as the Minister may specify in writing, notifying the member of his or her removal from office by the Minister on account of that member being unable to exercise the functions of his or her office because of illness, absence or other cause and has been, or is likely to be so unable for a period exceeding three months.


15.   Filling of vacancies

   (1) On the death of, or the vacating of office by, any member of the Board, the Minister shall, as soon as reasonably possible, appoint a person, in accordance with the provisions of section 7, for the remaining period of office of such deceased or vacating member.

   (2) Subsection (1) shall not apply where the remainder of the period for which a member whose office has been vacated would otherwise have held office is less than six months.


16.   Expert and other assistance

   The Board may appoint or engage such experts or other persons as it considers necessary to assist it in the exercise and performance of its powers, functions and duties, or for the performance of any work arising from it.


17.   Remuneration and allowances

   A member of the Board or an expert appointed or engaged to assist the Board shall be paid such remuneration, and such other allowances and travelling expenses, incurred in connection with his or her service on the Board, if any, as the Minister may from time to time determine.


18.   Gambling by Board members

   (1) A member of the Board shall not-


   (a)   participate in any gambling activity, except in the performance of his or her duties in terms of this Act; or


   (b)   solicit or accept directorship or shareholding from an applicant for, or holder of, a licence under this Act, within two years of the termination of his or her term of office.

   (2) A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) commits an offence.

Meetings and Proceedings of Board (ss 19-23)


19.   Meetings of Board

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Board shall regulate its own procedure.

   (2) The Board shall meet as often as is necessary or expedient for the discharge of its functions, but in any case at least once in each quarter of the year, and such meetings shall be held at such place, time and day as the Chairperson may determine in consultation with the Chief Executive.

   (3) Upon giving notice in writing, of not less than 14 days, a meeting of the Board may be called by the Chairperson provided that if the urgency of any particular matter does not permit the giving of notice, a special meeting may be called upon giving of a shorter notice.

   (4) There shall preside at any meeting of the Board-


   (a)   the Chairperson;


   (b)   in the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson; or


   (c)   in the absence of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, such member as the members present may elect from amongst themselves for the purpose of that meeting.

   (5) A quorum at any meeting of the Board shall consist of any four members of the Board.

   (6) All decisions of the Board shall be passed by a simple majority of the members present and voting at the meeting and, in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding shall have a casting vote in addition to that person's deliberative vote.


20.   Confidentiality

   (1) A member of the Board, or any officer or member of staff of the Authority shall not divulge any financial or other information relating to any applicant, or any information which has been furnished to the Authority by the Botswana Police Service, an inspector or any other regulatory authority or law enforcement agent, to any person except on the order of a court.

(2) A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) commits an offence.

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