The National Lottery Administration is set to amend the directive that governs the betting market in Ethiopia. This comes one year after the administration temporarily stopped issuing new licenses to betting companies.

The establishment proclamation of the Administration, enacted in 2007, gives it the mandate to regulate and license betting companies, while a directive was put in place five years ago with the same purpose.

“The new directive will guide the betting market and the decision to open the sector to new entrants will be made soon after it is finalized,” said Tewodros Neway, Communications Director of the Administration.

There are currently 42 active betting companies in Ethiopia. With the Coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to nearly all live sports, betting companies were closed during the rear half of the last Ethiopian year. Nevertheless, they resumed operations in August 2020 after the resumption of major sports leagues.

Meanwhile, many businesses have shown interest to acquire new betting license, though the Administration remains firm in its position. “Many citizens have expressed their disappointment over sport betting activities, citing its adverse impacts on the youth,” Tewodros remarked.

After receiving complaints from different stakeholders and the society, the Administration established a task force and conducted a study in collaboration with the Ethiopian Management Institute, to assess the impacts of betting activities.

The new directive will incorporate details on where betting companies should be opened and strengthen regulation on their daily activities. It will also require betting companies to regularly submit reports on their operations. Upon completion, the directive will be sent to the Ministry of Revenues for approval.