By Sailu Bah and Mustapha Jallow A news release from the Office of the President announced on GRTS television on Sunday, 1 March, has banned lotteries, casinos and allforms of gambling in the country with effect from Monday, 2 March, 2015. The release added “All operators of these services and establishments are hereby instructed to cease operations from the effective date”. The statement further indicated that ‘it is the duty of the Gambia Government to safeguard and promote the welfare of our citizens.” It also cited the mushrooming of “sports betting and gambling dens” all over the country and pupils spending their lunch money at kiosks during school hours. Following the announcement, this reporter went round, in both Banjul and the Kanifing Municipality, yesterday to find out the impact on the said businesses/operations. It was observed that all the major game betting places in Banjul and those along the Serekunda-Brikama Highway were closed as well as the kiosks within the vicinity of Westfield, Churchill Town and Serekunda market. The Gambia National Lottery (GNL), Primier Games Betting, Kaay Win, ISS Trading Premier and KS Primiere are some of the businesses which stopped operation as a result of the announcement from the Office of the President. A young lady in her early twenties, who was recently employed in one of the game betting businesses, told this reporter that  management has asked her not to come to work until further notice. She expressed hope that they will soon reopen for her to start work again.]]>

Join The Conversation