A lot of money can be generated from sport betting to support the country’s sport development, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho has revealed.
Serufho‘s remarks follow developments at the gambling authority where the CEO, Thulisizwe Johnson has marked sports and structural development as central to his roadmap which he anticipates will turnaround the Sports fraternity’s fortunes.
According to Serufho, funds accrued from sports betting would not only benefit sports development but would also be influential in sports facility development, elite sports development , higher performance training and capacity development. “We are waiting in great anticipation for sports betting,” he said in a telephone interview with this publication. “In other countries, funds from lotteries have played very significant roles is supporting both development and elite sport. In fact, in some countries the national lottery would be the biggest financier of sport.”
The founding CEO of the Gambling Authority, Johnson is on record saying sports betting can be of great benefit to the country. But those in sports circles, he posits, will have to wait a bit before sports betting is introduced because the authority would want to allow the national lottery to roll out first before another gambling component is introduced.
“Before rolling out sports betting, we have to ensure that the infrastructure is developed to certain standards and that all processes involved are set to create a conducive and fair betting platform for the gambler,” he said. Johnson says the Authority will work in partnership with stakeholders in sports like the BNSC to ensure that the right investments and systems are in place to ascertain fair play and detect suspicious activities and foul play. ‘You first need to develop systems and tighten controls,’ he says.
Renowned sports analyst Jimmy George also believes sports betting is a way to go for the country. “Sports betting is a window of opportunity that should be exploited,” he said. “The developed world is going that route so we should do the same. Our sport can economically benefit from it.”
Meanwhile, South Africa’s gambling revenues were estimated at R30 billion in 2019, according to a new report by the National Gambling Board of South Africa. The South African gambling industry includes casinos, sports betting, horse race betting, the national lottery, limited payout machines and bingo. Sports betting in South Africa made a whopping R5 billion in 2019 as according to the report.