June 20, 2024

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Sports Betting Houses Shut Down in Hawassa City of Sidama

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The authorities are closing the sports betting houses in Hawassa city in Sidama regional state of Ethiopia. The owners of sports betting houses in Hawassa city have expressed their dissatisfaction after their businesses were recently shut down by authorities. The owners say that despite having valid business licenses, authorities closed our betting houses and disrupted the business.

The owners argue that authorities allowed us to reopen the businesses in recent months after a previous closure. Now again we are facing another round of closure. They are disappointed that they have been forced to cease their work and remain at home, similar to the situation they experienced during the earlier closure period.

Hawassa City Police Department Commander Inspector Melkamu Ayelen says that during previous discussions with the betting house owners, an agreement was reached to provide them with legal business licenses. However, upon subsequent verification, it was found that the sports betting houses had still not obtained the necessary legal status, despite the passage of a considerable amount of time.

Regarding the possibility of the houses reopening, Inspector Melammu Ayele stated that the priority is for the betting houses to first obtain legal status. Once they are operating legally, any further actions or concerns can be addressed by the relevant parties in addition to the police.

In the last month, thousands of betting houses have been closed in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa. In the last 9 months, more than 6,000 betting houses have been shut down in the capital city. The betting houses were involved in harmful activities for youths, say Addis Ababa authorities.

Although, betting in Ethiopia has been legal for less than a decade. The country’s primary gambling law, the National Lottery Administration Re-Establishment Regulation 2009, permits a sports-betting lottery to accept bets on sports competitions. The more recent Sports-Betting Lottery Directive No. 172/2021, which came into effect in September 2021, introduced new sector-specific rules for sports betting.

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