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Chapter 10:19

Pools Control Act

Acts 51/1960, 25/1965 (s.2), 6/1967 (s.5), 8/1969, 22/2001 (s. 4); 6/2005 (s.13); G.N. 124/1974, S.I. 361/1981.



  1. Short title.
  2. Minister may issue and revoke licences.
  3. Provision of facilities.
  4. Licence fees and pool betting tax.
  5. Time when licence due.
  6. Alteration of partnership.
  7. Continuation of licence in event of death or disability.
  8. Appointment of accountant.
  9. Requirements as to conduct of pools.
  10. Information to be supplied and published by licensed pool promoters.
  11. Collection of taxes.
  12. Security bonds.
  13. Sworn statements to be lodged.
  14. Duties and powers of accountant.
  15. Void competitions and rejected entries.
  16. Ascertainment of stake money in competitions.
  17. Unauthorized pools.
  18. Promoters of pools and representatives of promoters to be licensed.

AN ACT to provide for the control of pool betting businesses, for the holding of a licence by a pool promoter or where the business is promoted outside Zimbabwe by the representative, for the appointment by the Minister of an accountant whose duties are to ensure that a pool promoter conducts his business in accordance with the Act, for the sending by a promoter to the accountant of information in respect of each competition and to every competitor therein unless, in the latter case, the information has been published in a newspaper, for the sending by a promoter to the accountant and to the Minister of a statement in respect of all his competitions, for the sending by a promoter of profit and loss accounts to the accountant, and for other matters incidental thereto.

[Date of commencement: 9th December, 1960.]

1     Short title

This Act may be cited as the Pools Control Act [Chapter 10:19].

2     Interpretation

(1) In this Act—

“accountant” means the person appointed in terms of section nine;

“collector” means any collector of customs and excise in the Department of Customs and Excise;

“licence” means a licence issued under this Act;

“licensed representative” means the holder of a valid licence issued to the representative of the promoter of a pool betting business promoted outside Zimbabwe;

“licensed pool promoter” means the holder of a valid licence issued to the promoter of a pool betting business promoted inside Zimbabwe;

“Minister” means the Minister of Home Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“pool betting business” means a business involving the receiving or negotiating of bets made by way of pool betting;

“promoter’s commission”, in relation to any pool betting business, means the amount by which the aggregate total stakes in all the competitions exceeds the sum of—

  • the aggregate prizes in the competitions; and
  • the aggregate pool betting tax in respect of the competitions; and
  • the expenses of the promoter actually incurred by him in the conduct of the competitions, excluding any expenses properly chargeable to capital and any interest on borrowed money and, in particular, excluding any provision for depreciation of buildings or equipment, any emoluments payable to the promoter or, if the promoter is a partnership, to any of the partners or, if the promoter is a body corporate, to any of the directors and, in any case, any emoluments payable to any person whose emoluments depend to any extent on the profits of the promoter;

“qualified accountant” means a person registered as a public accountant or a public auditor in terms of the Public Accountants and Auditors Act [Chapter 27:12].

  • For the purposes of this Act, bets shall be made by way of pool betting whenever a number of persons make bets on terms that the winnings of such of those persons as are winners shall be, or be a share of, or be determined by reference to, the stake money paid or agreed to be paid by those persons, whether the bets are made by filling up and returning coupons or other printed or written forms, or otherwise howsoever.
  • Any reference in this Act to the day on which the sporting events on which a competition depends take place shall, where such events do not take place wholly on the same day, be construed as a reference to the last day on which any of such events takes place.

3     Minister may issue and revoke licences

(1) The Minister may issue a certificate authorizing the Secretary of the Ministry responsible for home affairs to issue a licence to any person—

  • to promote a pool betting business inside Zimbabwe; or
  • to act inside Zimbabwe in respect of a pool betting business promoted outside Zimbabwe as the representative of the promoter thereof.

(2) The Minister may revoke a licence if—

  • the holder or one of the holders or a director or manager of the holder, as the case may be—
    • is convicted of an offence under this Act; or
    • is convicted of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty; or
    • voluntarily assigns his estate or has his estate sequestrated by order of court; or
    • fails to comply with any condition imposed by regulation made under section twenty-one; or
  • the holder fails, within three months of the date of delivery to him of a notice given in terms of section four, to comply with the terms of such notice.

4     Provision of facilities

The Minister may, by notice in writing, require the holder of a licence to provide such facilities relating to the acceptance of bets from members of the public in connection with the pool betting business to which the licence relates as may be specified in the notice.

5     Licence fees and pool betting tax

  • Upon the issue or renewal of a licence there shall be paid such fee as may be prescribed.
  • A pool betting tax shall be payable and shall be at such rate as may be prescribed.

[Section amended by section 13 of Act 6 of 2005]

6     Time when licence due

Liability to take out or renew a licence shall arise on the 1st January in each year, except in any case where—

  • the pool betting business is commenced for the first time inside Zimbabwe; or
  • a representative of the promoter of a pool betting business promoted outside Zimbabwe is appointed; on a day later than the 1st January in the year, in which event such liability to take out the licence shall arise on the later date.

7     Alteration of partnership

  • In the event of one or more of the partners retiring from a partnership or dying before the 31st December in the year in respect of which a licence was issued to such partnership, the remaining partner or partners may, for the unexpired period covered by such licence, carry on business thereunder:

Provided that such licence may not be renewed and upon the expiry thereof a new licence shall be taken out.

  • Any change in the membership of a partnership occasioned by the admission of a new partner shall immediately necessitate the taking out of a new licence.