The Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board (LGRB) this morning carried out a joint operation with police in Entebbe impounded illegal slot machines and closed one casino.
LGRB officials said Bellagio Casino situated in Entebbe was closed for operating without a license.
The gaming’s board and Police are sustaining enforcement against illegal slot machines and operations in Kampala city and its neighbouring districts of Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi.
The operations to close illegal centres have so far been carried out mainly in Gayaza, Kisaasi, Seeta Namasuba, Kajjansi and Zzana.
Jonathan Kyeyune, the LGRB’s head of public and corporate affairs, said last month alone they impounded more than 700 illegal slot machines in the city suburbs.
The operation commenced after a 60-day amnesty LGRB gave to illegal operators elapsed. Those whose machines were confiscated had not complied.
Kyeyune said most of the illegal confiscated machines were stationed in ungazatted areas. Even the warehouse where the machines were being assembled was closed.
Justifying the closure of the premises, Kyeyune said some of them were unlicensed operators and others were allowing individuals below 25 years of age to enter their premises, contrary to the law.
“The law is very clear. Only Ugandans above 25 years are allowed to engage in betting,” Kyeyune explained.
Closing of illegal betting operations is being carried as part of an ongoing effort to protect school-going children.
Gaming and betting business is regulated by the law. In 2016, Parliament established LGRB as a body corporate, assigned the duty of enforcing the law.
The penalties for operating illegal gaming machines include imprisonment for not less than two years and the impounded machines have to be destroyed.
The law also does not permit the operators to run their businesses in locations below the minimum size of 30 square metres. Gaming houses are not allowed to operate near government offices, schools, churches or mosques.