Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women and Social Affairs is working to ban sports betting in a bid to protect the country’s youth and avoid “various economic and social crises”.
A spokesperson for the ministry told local media that “gambling is a social crisis that can take teenagers and adults alike. It is a matter of discouraging anyone from working and changing the family, which can lead to the disintegration of the family.”
The ministry claims it has conducted a series of surveys that revealed “sports betting poses a threat to both young and old”, including reducing productivity and causing psychological problems such as anxiety, depression and even suicide.
Gambling in Ethiopia, which is home to an estimated 115m people, is regulated by the National Lottery Administration (NLA), which can award permits to offer sports-betting lotteries, tombola or raffles, conventional bingo or promotional lotteries.
The country’s primary gambling law, the National Lottery Administration Re-Establishment Council of Ministers Regulation 2009, allows a sports-betting lottery to accept bets on sports “competitions and in which the prize is distributed in money or in kind”.
The more recent Sports-Betting Lottery Directive No. 172/2021, which came into effect in September 2021, developed new sector-specific rules for sports betting.
Under the directive, the sports-betting lottery licensing fee is set at ETB500,000 (€9,133) and the renewal fee is set at ETB100,000, the licensee is required to give 15 percent commission from ticket revenue and 15 percent of the winning prize amount to the NLA at the end of every month and 0.5 percent of total revenue must be allocated for social contributions.