No Developments in Swaziland Gambling Law Process in 2019
Last year, when Swaziland’s Ministry of Tourism issued a request for proposals for consultancies, with the intention of conducting a review of the country’s gambling laws, there were high hopes that 2019 would be a year of change for this tiny African country’s gambling industry. However, as we near the end of the year, we have seen no developments in this area, and in fact nothing new has been heard about this process since then.
Currently, Swaziland’s gambling industry is regulated by two pieces of legislation of over five decades old: The Casino Act and the Lottery Act of 1963.
The popularity of online gambling in South Africa extends over the border to its landlocked neighbor as well. The country, with just under 1.5 million people, is too small to sustain an entire online gambling market, but that doesn’t mean that the interest isn’t there.
There is a single sports betting license which covers retail betting and online betting. This license is renewed each year. According to the senior partner of Law Allianz, a leading African gaming and entertainment firm, Yahaya Maikori, more investment in Swaziland’s online betting industry needs to take place in order to expand the sector and make it viable.
Swaziland has several land-based casinos, one of them being Piggs Peak, which was granted a license over 20 years ago to offer online products. The South African government fought the casino’s policy of targeting South African players and the courts eventually ruled that Piggs Peak may not accept SA online gamblers. The casino still offers online gambling services to players from other countries in the world.
When it comes to lottery services, Swaziland has no national lottery. Swazi Lottery was officially shut down in 2005. However, local players can still play lottery games, thanks to a 15-year license awarded to V Slots Swaziland, a sub-group of a South African based company.
The sole slot license holder in Swaziland operates around 300 games across the country, although analysts believe that there is plenty of space for growth in this sector.