Sports Act 2023: The six types of people who risk imprisonment for betting

FIFA Referee William Oloya officiating a match in the Uganda Premier League.

LAW Sports Act 2023: The six types of people who risk imprisonment for betting

Fred Mwambu 09:34 - 24.08.2023

Referees, players, club owners and federation employees have been prohibited from any form of betting in the new laws. They are not allowed to offer betting tips for any sports activities, including the English Premier League.

The proponents of the newly-signed 2023 National Sports Act envisaged a document that will, among other things, streamline the administration, management and regulation of sports activities in the country.

Recently, the issue of betting by influential people in the sports industry has been rampant, sometimes leading to match-fixing for monetary gains.

FUFA has so far banned one referee and three players for periods ranging from five to ten years for aiding match-fixing to betting agents.


The new law has moved to regulate these activities by prohibiting a certain section of people from taking part – and that includes advising a third party – in betting activities.

Section 62 of the act has mentioned six categories of people who are prohibited from engaging in any betting activities going forward.

“…shall not bet or advise any person on any betting activity, in relation to a sports activity, event or competition organised by a national sports association or a national sports federation,” the law dictates.

The law has barred match officials responsible for enforcing the rules, such as referees, umpires or adjudicators, depending on the term used in different sports disciplines.

The coaches, athletes and owners of any sports club or team will not be allowed to bet as well as any member or employee of a registered national sports association or federation.

“A person who contravenes subsection (l) commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding seventy-two currency points or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both,” it further reads.

They’re not allowed to offer betting tips, even for leagues or activities that they’re not involved in directly or indirectly.

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