An investor in casino business has faulted the country’s rigid legal and regulatory framework for barring entry into the business.
American Pirates Casino acting general manager Blessing Chiutare said in an interview on Wednesday that the development is affecting the growth of the business that can contribute to tourism growth and also create jobs.
His observation comes against a background of a readily available open window where an investor can walk in to apply for a casino business licence. The existing legal and regulatory framework requires investors to wait for the Malawi Gaming Board to advertise for license applications.
Chiutare, who has 28 years experience in managing casinos, said such restrictive entry arrangement is counterproductive because investors cannot wait, but invest where they can walk in and apply for the licence.
“The major bottleneck is that Malawi has a system that says that only when the Gaming Board has advertised for licence applications, that is the only window that you can apply,” he said.
In a written response on Wednesday, Malawi Gaming Board licensing manager Mirriam Kumbuyo said they are mandated to regulate the industry and promote positive socio-economic impact in the country.
“In order for a small market to be attractive to the investors, there are rules and regulations that have to be followed,” she said.
A quick research on the Internet shows that South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe are into serious casino business.
A tourism journal published on e-play Africa by Peter Situma illustrates that casinos and tourist attractions are complementary industries.