Gulu leaders ban gambling, casinos

In action. Pupils of Labour Line Primary School participate in gambling at a shop in Pece Division, Gulu District. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OKELLO.

What you need to know:

Reason. Mr Mapenduzi says the involvement of school going children in gambling is on the rise.

Gulu. Leaders in Gulu District have banned gambling business citing unproductivity of residents especially women and children.
The resolution was reached last Friday during a meeting convened by the district executive committee members.
The district chairperson, Mr Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, said the decision followed the increasing involvement of school-going children in gambling.

Mr Mapenduzi said slot machines are put in front of shops which makes them more accessible to the children. “We found in several gambling centres children, mostly aged 12-15 years engaging in the business,” Mr Mapenduzi said.
However, Mr Mapenduzi blamed casino owners and gambling companies for failing to protect school-going children from the vice.

He noted that within the rural areas, slot machines have been established near primary schools, which has reduced concentration of pupils in class since they only think of break time to embark on gambling. “We don’t want our children to learn gambling, we should instead teach them how to hard work,” he said.

He said most of the companies owning slot machines have no operating licenses and have not been remitting taxes to local government.

Mr Moses Abonga, LC3 chairperson Laroo Division, welcomed the ban saying it will reduce the level of redundancy among the youth who looked at gambling as the source of livelihood.

The issue

The leaders say gambling has increased unproductivity among the residents.


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