The government financial plan unfolded by the Minister of Finance yesterday has left owners of gambling firms perplexed. Regulations governing the games in Mauritius have become more stringent: for instance, advertising has been banned and licence fees have been drastically increased.
The budget speech 2015-2016 presented by the Minister of Finance, Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, on the 23rd of March, includes strict regulations pertaining to gambling in Mauritius. One of the new rules dictates that advertising for such games is now banned completely. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lottotech, Moorghen Veeramootoo, however, does not seem to have assimilated the directives relating to his firm.
Does the advertising prohibition extend to Lottotech as well? The COO of the companyis confused as to the answer to this question. The management team of the company was to meet up today to review the budget. Moorghen Veeramootoo stated that they were still analysing the contents of the government financial plan. He added that they were waiting for more relevant details from the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA).
On the other hand, Soon Gujadhur, owner of Totelepep, is already considering putting an end to the business. He exclaimed that Totelepep no longer existed since yesterday. He explained his point of view saying that, were his company to make Rs 500 million, it would have to pay Rs 25 million to Mauritius Turf Club. However, the company makes only around Rs 5 million which renders of the plight of the company problematic.
As for the manager of Supertote, Guillaume Hardy, he does not seem to be worried concerning the new advertising regulations. He has asserted that his company does not rely much on advertising. However, he has pointed out that the new methods relating to the grant of licences and the increase in the Licence Fees for bookmakers are expected to have a serious impact on the business. He also added that the implementation thereof might be riddled with difficulties.
Indeed, the Licence Fees of bookmakers of Champ-de-Mars will be increased from Rs 350 000 per year to Rs 1 million. Those operating elsewhere will have to pay Rs 3.5 million instead of the usual Rs 350 000. Resellers of the Mauritius National Lottery might complain even more; their Licence Fee will now be Rs 5 million instead of Rs 500 000.