Seychelles to introduce new regulation targeting online gaming and gambling
Afif said that there are many online gambling, called gaming. (Jim Makos, Flickr) Photo License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A new regulation will be put in place under the Seychelles Gambling Act to clarify the specific categories of interactive gambling for the purpose of issuing licences, as well as the applicable licence fees and conditions, Vice President Ahmed Afif said on Thursday.
The regulation was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in a meeting on Wednesday.
"What is being proposed is to have a framework that is more strict and clearer and one that gives the authority the possibility to better be able to control the situation and the operators that get their licences under the FSA (Financial Services Authority)," said the Vice President.
Afif said that the Seychelles Gambling Act, 2014, makes provision for regulators to put in place regulations that will control the way gambling is done.
"We have many online gambling, called gaming, and often the way the law is, the government finds itself in a situation where it has given a license to somebody but it does not control online gaming and this allows the licensees to do these activities without contravening their licenses," he explained.
He said the regulation will make it clear that "if you venture in the online area, you must have certain control in place for example you must have someone who will know exactly what is the receipt for the online gambling. Someone who is controlling how payment is being made for online gaming and this will be in line with all the conditions set against money laundering passing through our jurisdiction."
Afif said that very often this activity is linked to money laundering and other illegal activities.
The Cabinet of Ministers also approved the setting up of a multi-stakeholder committee to undertake a study on alcohol consumption in Seychelles.
The Vice President said that unfortunately there have been many discussions on Seychelles being among one of the countries that the world considers as having a high consumption of alcohol.
He said that a high consumption of alcohol has consequences and this can affect society, families, workplaces, production, and the country's economy.
"We believe that it is important for us to understand the situation better before we propose any solution. To better understand the situation we must talk to people who are not only affected by this including the consumers, employers, family members, alcohol producers, and importers because I am sure they are also concerned when in their own companies they are affected by alcohol consumption," he added.
He said that the government is setting up a committee that will be made up of competent persons and represent all groups.
"We want to first get a hold on the situation and understand the statistics, the consequences, including the Ministry of Health, the extra pressure it puts on health, and also for us to understand the costs it puts on society," he explained.
He said that the government expects the committee to be able to present a preliminary report by mid-next year.