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The Digital Economy: online betting- a growing industry to watch in our digital space

“Ghana’s gaming industry has witnessed tremendous growth over the last decade. This is evidenced by the proliferation of Casinos, Sports Betting centers and other games of chance in the country. Technology advancements in the industry have meant that the Commission increases its level of sophistication” … C.E.O’s message, https://gamingcommission.gov.gh accessed, 13/08/21

For many supporting their favorite team in football or other sports is just for their entertainment and relaxation. To some others the games have become an additional source to make some income to help with the bills. The passion we see all around the world may partly be attributed to the huge amounts of money at stake for the games. Football is a very big business venture all around the world.

My focus however for this article is to look at the online betting innovation in the digital space. Most traditional games have now moved online in response to the times we find ourselves. Amazingly these platforms are being visited by great number of people on daily basis.

The days of having patrons hanging around betting shops are becoming a thing of the past. Today with a mobile phone you can bet on the go and even carry out live game betting without leaving your sofa while enjoying the game.

Here are some licensed operators

A quick look online will reveal quite a number of betting websites here in Ghana. The following are among the licensed operators. According to the website https://gamingcommission.gov.gh their licenses are for a year and hopefully renewable.

1Cedibet
Betway
Soccabet
22-Bet.
BetBro
Melbet
Mybet
LSbet
Betyetu
Sunbet
Bet9ja
Supabet
Premierbet
Bet365
Sportsbet

These platforms may all be in the betting business but have some unique service offers for their customers.

Tax outlook.

From the Ghana Gaming commissions’ own website, the CEO admits that there has been tremendous growth in the gaming industry. Our growing digital economy has some lot value creation activities currently happening online.

Taking cues from the Annette Nellen analysis of the widely published activities of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)-the body tasked with looking at how best to tax the growing digital ventures.

Three main categories have been identified as follows: selling of goods and services online; enhancing business transaction using the internet; and possession and usage of virtual currencies.

Online betting is here with us. People are now placing bets conveniently on their phones using virtual money and winning in the same, and keeping e-values for onward transactions. This can be fully considered in the tax net expansion agenda.

Payment options

These betting websites have enabled online payments for their patrons. Usually one is required to create an account for the betting purpose. Bets will be made directly from the account created.

The sites have integrated well with the likes AirtelTigo Money, and MTN Momo to enable patrons to transfer money from those accounts into their betting wallet to be used. Some have also integrated with commercial bank’s own mobile payment platforms for example GCBBank’s G-Money. Deposits can also be made from one’ VISA debit or credit card.

The amount deposited decreases as one bets on specific events and confirms payments. Winning payments are also seamlessly made into ones’ account to increase the deposits. You can always cash out.

Accessing the platforms

One can access the sites via a browser and possibly create a shortcut on your phone home screen for easy access every time. There are also mobile apps you can download which works well on both android and IOS.

Security

It is good for bettors to check and feel safe before signup on betting platforms. A basic check will be to investigate if the platform is licensed. They usually will display their license number on the platform. When convinced look out for the secure site padlock symbol or the web address starts with https:// to at least have some peace of mind.

You have to be sure that all information exchanged on the platform especially your wallet or card details are over a secure and encrypted connection. The expectation for this site is to use the 256 bit SSL encryption tool.

Regulation

The Gaming Act 2006 (ACT 271) legalizes all forms of Games of Chance in Ghana except Lottery. The body authorized to license betting platforms is the Ghana Gaming Commission. It promises on its website that it ensures full compliance with the gaming law and regulations and it carries out continuous inspection on these operators.

Terms and Conditions

Many of us are on various platforms especially social network sites such as Facebook, Instagram, but we haven’t for once bothered to check out their terms and conditions. However, for betting sites it will be appropriate to check them out. This is because a lot of transaction goes on here, in fact your personal details linked to your e-wallet or some other account is required and you cannot be unconcerned about the terms on such platforms. Here are some general of T&Cs:

You must be 18 years or above to be apple to sign-up. While registering most sites will require some confirmation of your age, you are either asked to input your correct date of birth or proof of ID.

Data policy

Always be careful to read the betting platforms data policy carefully in order to understand how the information they collect from you is stored and used.

Some state that once you willingly give them your details you automatically authorize them to contact you via the email and phone number given and also share with their partners who may need it for promotional purposes. And if legally requested they are obliged to submit same to authorities.

Support

Yes, online betting is legal and you may be in it for or as an additional source of income, but always remember to bet responsibly.

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