By our reporter
Two local sports betting companies have accused Uganda Police of conniving with International Multibillion companies to illegally close them out of business especially in this festive season when they were planning to make a kill.
Police on Thursday swung in actin and closed over 65 branches of Home Bet and Game Bet sports betting country wide and announced a crackdown on the only two locally owned companies that have been employing over 500 workers across the country, allegedly accusing them of operating without operation licence contrary to the lotteries and gaming Act 2016.
However, according to the managing director for Home Bet Mr. Emmy Makuma Namulunyi, money exchanged hands between the multi-billion international gaming companies and some individuals of Uganda police to witch hunt and foil the local investors in the game.
During a press conference on Thursday at their offices on Mabirizi plaza, Namulunyi said there has always been foul play by the international players through the Gaming board and police, and that they are aware money has been exchanging hands.
“The whole deputy director criminal investigations/CID SCP Obwona Joseph communicated in his letter he wrote that those DPCs who implement this operation would be ‘facilitated’, he was very clear. There has never been any operation by Uganda police where they promise ‘facilitation’ after the operation,” he observed.
In his letter written to all DPCs, RPCs, commander KMP, SCP Joseph promised to facilitate all those who would implement the directive.
“You’re therefore directly to immediately identify the locations of the above operators in your immediate localities and order for their closure and prosecutions using the provision of the law quoted.
Assign a team of officers in your areas to enforce this law and report progress. The team will be provided with facilitation upon successful completion of work,” read part of Obwana’s letter.
Meanwhile, on Thursday Mr.Namulunyi presented an injunction order before journalists obtained on 4th May 2015 by constitutional court stopping police and all other Gov’t organs from interfering with the legal works of the company until the main application No.09 of 2015 is disposed of.
We act for and on behalf of Home bet Ltd and Game bet Ltd.
We make reference to your letter dated 11th December 2018 directing the closure of our client’s premises in Uganda.
As you are aware, our clients’ right to operate as gaming and sport betting entities arises from a court order that was issued by the constitutional court of Uganda. We draw your attention to a letter dated 17th January 2018 where in the DPPs advised Uganda police to stay all investigations into our client’s affairs pending the outcome of the Constitutional petition No.51 of 2017. (a copy of the letter is attached for ease of reference).
I’m sure you appreciate the grave financial and legal consequences of acting in the fragrant violations of our client’s rights and/or contrary to the advice that has been issued by the office of the director of public prosecutions.
Our client reserves the right to institute proceedings against you personally for any violations that may arise as a result of your actions and/or directions.
There shall be no further notice, Dinah Mukasa,” read part of the letter.
According to Section 26 of the Casino, Gaming and Betting Licence, a Person shall not establish or operate a casino or machine without a licence issued under this act.