Namibian Gambling Information
Gambling is legal in Namibia, at least so far as casino gambling and lotteries are concerned. The three Namibian casinos are surprisingly large and elaborate for what one might expect, including a widespread list of table games featured.
The number of casinos remains small, mostly due to a nearly ten year moratorium on the issuing of gambling licenses. This ban was lifted in 2006, giving hope that more casinos will be built in Namibia in the next few years.
Casinos in Namibia
Mermaid Casino & Swakopmund Hotel (Swakopmund) - The Mermaid Casino offers 170 slot machines and 12 casino table games, including Raise 'Em Poker, Stud Poker, American Roulette, Blackjack and Texas Holdem Poker. The Swakopmund Hotel also has 2 restaurants on site. For information about Mermaid Casino, call +264 64 410 520 0 or visit their website at www.legacyhotel.co.za. The casino is open 18 hours a day, from 10am until 4am.
Desert Jewel Casino & Windhoek Country Club Resort - The Desert Jewel Casino has 220 slots and video poker machines, as well as 8 gaming tables. These tables including American Roulette, Blackjack and 3 tables of Poker. The resort also offers a restaurant and a buffet. Call +264 61 205 529 2 or click on the Legacy Hotels website, the same address as the Mermaid Casino. Both Mermaid Casino and Desert Jewel Casino are owned by Legacy Hotels.
The Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino - The Kalahari Sands offers 129 gaming machines and 9 table games, including 3 tables of American Roulette, 4 Blackjack tables and 2 Poker tables. Kalahari Sands has a bar and a restaurant on the premises, as well as a 173 room hotel. Contact Kalihari Sands Casino at +264 61 280 000 0, or visit their web address at www.suninternational.co.za.
Kalahari Sands Casino Initiatives
The Kalahari Sands Casino works with the Gaming Board of Namibia on a program for problem gamblers, led by the Kalahari Sands Responsible Gaming Board. The Kalahari Sands also bargained a deal where employees would receive 7% of shares in the company, under the aegis of the BEE organization, or Black Economic Empowerment organization.
Namibian Gambling License Moratorium
In 1997, the government of Namibia placed a moratorium on the issuance of gambling licenses to build land-based casinos. The Namibian Parliament issued the moratorium, but lifted it in 2006, after possible Namibian casino investors began to complain about the temporary suspension. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is the government organization which issues casino licenses.
Namibian National Lottery
The Environment and Tourism Ministry also regulates the newly-created National Lottery of Namibia, which was instituted in 2005. This lottery is a state-run organization, which is directly controlled by the Lotteries Board of Namibia, which is under the Environment and Tourism Minister.
The Namibian government does not allow lottery games for private interests. The revenues of the Namibian National Lottery go to the Social Upliftment Fund and the National Lottery Trust Fund.
The Lotteries Board was created by law in 2002, though the lottery was still getting organized as of 2006.
Namibia Gambling License Scandal
A high-ranking member of the Environment and Tourism Ministry, Sackey Naumagongo, was arrested for handing out fake licenses for gambling operators in 2006. Namibia's Anti-Corruption Commission, or ACC, made the arrest. Sackey Namugongo was a high profile member of the government, due to his dual role as a Namibian television commentator.
The long moratorium on gambling licenses, which lasted from 1997 to 2006, seems to have created a market for fake government sanctioning, which was provided by Mr. Namugongo. The ACC believes there was a ring of officials in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism involved in this illegal activity.
Namibia is found on the southwestern coast of Africa. It is found between South Africa to the south and Angola to the north. Namibia also shares a border with Botswana to the east and a precarious border with Zambia, to the northeast.
Namibia only gained full independence in 1989, as it had to struggle against South Africa to gain that independence. Namibia was a separate entity throughout most of the colonial period, as it was a German colony until World War I. During the war, the British Empire annexed Namibia to South Africa.
The struggle for independence lasted from 1966 to 1990. Namibia is currently ruled by a leftist administration, which has caused Namibian to enter conflicts in nearby Angola (by signing a defense treaty with its leftist government against UNITA rebels in southern Angola) and in the Second Congo War.
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