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measures to prevent Mauritius from becoming a ‘Zougadère Nation’ and “the illusion that life is a jackpot.”


Lutchmeenaraidoo was finance minister from December 2014 until March 2016 and became Minister of Foreign Affairs until his sudden resignation in March 2019.


His measures in 2014 included a total ban on advertising relating to gambling, a ban on scratchcards, a ban on new gaming licences for five years (except casinos), increasing gambling licence fees and taxes, and a three year period for local authorities to relocate gambling houses from city centres to specified areas.


Te lottery was hit exceptionally hard by the loss of the scratchcards and advertising ban. As a result, over the last couple of years it has struggled financially.


Lottotech has been operating the national lottery since 2009 with a licence from the State Investment Corporation and launched La Loterie Nationale in Mauritius and Rodrigues. It has just seen its licence renewed until 2029. Sales since then have generated over Rs4bn in funds


invested into health, education, sport and culture organisations.


Te only game authorised initially was lotto 6/40 and, despite instant win scratchcards initially being authorised, they were withdrawn from the market in 2015.


Tere are 815 lottery retailers on the island and last year Lottotech saw MRs2bn in turnover from lottery tickets and just over MRs1bn in revenue (after prizes).


Meanwhile over the last year or so the gambling market has grown in Mauritius. Tere are new betting shops opening (Places of Public Entertainment licences) which can operate as a bookmaker on horse races by remote communication (SMS and telephone) plus 300 LPM licences granted in addition to the second weekly draw for Lottotech and the opening of a casino in Grand Bay.


It all began with the arrival of the Pari Mutuel Urbain in Mauritius at the end of 2017, which began with Sunday betting and has since increased to bets on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. Players can also bet on foreign football


with Bet365. It’s been a bone of contention and the sector said the PMU would be a serious threat to the future of Mauritian horse racing sector.


PMU is operated on the island by Peerless, a company that is already incorporated in Mauritius and as such didn’t need another licence to operate in partnership with the PMU. Peerless Ltd was set up in 1989 and has held a pool betting licence for the last 30 years.


Te number of betting shops has increased with 32 new branches in the last year bringing the total to 200. Te state was expecting to receive around Rs2.2bn in terms of taxes this year levied from the industry whilst the GRA has seen revenues from licensing fees of MRs449m – double the amount to that back in 2011.


Casinos and gambling halls contribute half of the licensing fee revenue whilst horse races, bookmakers and totalisators are second, followed by betting on international football matches and the lotteries in fourth place. Taxes from the horse racing/football sectors amounted to MRs1bn, MRs810m from casinos and slot halls and MRs320m from the lottery.


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P69


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