JOHANESBURG/South Africa: Dan Stone, Senior Marketing Manager at Clarion Gaming and one of the key figures behind the inaugural ICE Africa (24-25 October, Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa), has stated that the event represents the first truly comprehensive platform for the industry to discuss the proposed National Gambling Amendment Bill which was announced last Friday by South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).
The bill, which could potentially see much tighter regulations and stricter legislation for all gambling as well as a desire to ensure ‘no new forms of gambling’ in South Africa, has been discussed in various forms since 2016, but was given new clarity when it was bought to the table again last week. Commenting on its potential impact, Stone explained: “The proposed bill could see a dramatic shift with regards to every single sector of gambling in the country and we know, through talking with stakeholders in South Africa, that it will be of keen interest to anyone in the industry who wants to better understand the emerging markets on the continent.
“The first ever ICE Africa is perfectly positioned to provide a unique opportunity for regulators, operators and suppliers to meet, network and explore the finer details of how gaming in the country can progress in a strategic and sustainable manner. At this time, we already have a number of high profile regulators from across the region, alongside international representatives, who will taking part in our two-day agenda discussing Africa’s most relevant gaming topics and how to deal with the advancing regulations happening across the Continent.”
In addition to the learning agenda, operators can also benefit from meeting face-to-face with regulators from nine countries in the region at ICE Africa’s networkAfrica program. Stone continued: “One of our premier ideas this year is networkAfrica, which chimes with the industry’s desire to focus on proposed legislation, like the National Gambling Amendment Bill, by creating an opportunity for operators to speak with regulators on licensing, increased collaboration and the development of African jurisdictions in four 30-minute slots. We will have representatives from South Africa as well as Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, who will all be on hand to discuss the future and help to drive change and deliver a regulated industry which protects the interests of the consumer and the integrity of the region.”
He concluded: “Within the 49 page bill, there is key focus on every single type of gaming in South Africa, both legal and illegal, including lotteries, sports betting, casinos, bingo and many more. Our current speaker line-up already features a number of key figures from regulatory boards within the region, as well as from different sectors, and we aim to continue adding the most up-to-date speakers and learning and networking opportunities at ICE Africa, as well as a floor of product and service solutions to suit various verticals. The African gaming industry is at a crucial crossroads and, as more and more decision makers demand additional insight and information to these potential changes, ICE Africa will strive to provide an ideal platform with the industry’s most influential and reputable stakeholders to better weather this uncertain future.”
Among the regulators and thought-leaders already confirmed for this year’s ICE Africa are: Emmanuel Siisi Quainoo, former Chief Executive of the Ghana Gaming Commission, and Consultant and CEO of Evemanuel Genesis Ltd.; HRT Ali, National Lottery Authority, Ex-Chairman of Ghana Gaming Commission 2012-2016; Felix Mukaxe, Gaming Inspector, Mozambique Gambling Board; James Mpiirwe, Board Secretary, Uganda Regulatory Authority; Kwesi Boateng Assumeng, Head of Programmes Unit, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition; Master Maliro, Chairperson, Education and Training Sub Committee, Gaming Regulators Africa Forum; Potlako Mawande, Chief Operating Officer, Gambling Authority, Botswana; Susan O’Leary, CEO of Alderney eGambling, and Thulisizwe Johnson, Chief Executive, Botswana Gambling Authority.