Government has lifted the ban on three gaming firms that operate machines, popularly known Ibiryabarezi, a fortnight after their suspension over failure to comply with provisions of standards, securities and responsible gaming.
In a statement issued, yesterday, however, Government insisted that not all the registered companies will resume business as some are yet to acquire operating licenses.
Three gaming companies out of nine were given green light to resume operations, according to the statement released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
With specific references to Law N°58/2011 of 31/12/2011 governing the gaming activities in Rwanda, the statement, stated that only Rwanda Gaming Corporation (RGC), Ludic Eastafrica Limited and Baron Bet had been allowed to reopen after meeting the requirements.
“The Ministry of Trade and Industry hereby informs respective authorities, specifically local governments and the Rwanda National Police, with immediate effectsto observe the implementation of these decisions as stipulated in the communiqué,” reads the statement signed by Minister Francois Kanimba.
On the other hand, companies like Jongli Ltd, Long Hui Ltd, Be Ongly Ltd and Hongda Ltd, most of them partly owned by Chinese, according to the statement, have been operating without licenses and will remain suspended until acquisition of the required papers.
Companies like ‘Play 2Win Ltd’ and ‘Ende Company Ltd’ were legally licensed, but their suspension was maintained until they comply with all necessary requirements.
On the government’s earlier decision to ban the slot machines whose business, according to members of the public- was hindering the savings culture, officials said that government had suspended their operations to provide suitable modalities with which the business should be operated.
Business owners in the industry had earlier blamed unscrupulous colleagues, for illegally distributing the gambling machines across the country.
Meanwhile, reacting to the accusation against some Chinese investors in the industry, the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Pan Hejun, stated that his government in no way supported illegal introduction of hostile business overseas.
“I don’t know whether only the Chinese have been supplying these machines, but everybody in this country should do things, according to the law,” he said.
“We are very confident that Rwandan government has strong ability to enforce the law and to put everything in order, which is very important, that is one of the strong elements in the investment environment, failure to enforce the law would lead to chaotic markets,” he said.