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Bulawayo self-styled Prophet banned from casino after winning US$30 000

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A Bulawayo-based self-styled prophet, Archbishop Emmanuel Mutumwa, leader of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu Apostolic Sect, was allegedly banned by some local casinos after he hit a jackpot exceeding US$30 000.

Mutumwa claims God gave him the winning formula in a vision, resulting in some casinos banning him to prevent “paying out too much” to the same winning punter.

In an exclusive interview with B-Metro, Mutumwa confirmed the ban, describing it as “utterly immoral and predatory.” He said:

This is the biggest win ever recorded at the casino. I broke the previous record by almost double, and it was the biggest jackpot won on the site this year.

My celebrations were cut short, however, because I have been banned by other casinos for winning too much.

They claim that since I am a prophet, I am receiving visions from God about the winning numbers. They fear they will go bankrupt because I will win too often.

They should understand that if you are playing and winning according to the house rules, the casino has no reason to kick you out. I did nothing wrong.

I played a game, and was congratulated for winning, and I’m surprised other local casinos no longer welcome me. So, I’m shocked that these people seem to only want people’s money and avoid payouts.

I even tried going to their branch out of town, hoping for better luck but was told I wasn’t welcome.

This isn’t just a loss for me, but it affects everyone who comes to me for spiritual guidance on winning lottery games, at casinos, or placing bets.

If casinos can arbitrarily ban winners, what message does that send to their customers?

While the Christian community generally condemns gambling, Mutumwa contends that responsible gambling can indeed lead to good fortune. He said:

As a prophet, Archbishop Mutumwa, the winning numbers were revealed to me in a vision. This wasn’t just luck, but a divine message…

God works in mysterious ways. This win wasn’t about luck, but a test of faith. I prayed for guidance, and the Lord provided the numbers through a vision.

Isn’t it a blessing to use these winnings to uplift my congregation? Gambling, when done responsibly, can be a source of good fortune that can be channelled towards helping others.

Many people also come to me for spiritual guidance on winning lottery games, at casinos, or when placing bets.

Interestingly, many of them have reported winning much more frequently since seeking my guidance.

He claimed he used a portion of his financial windfall to pay school fees for the children of struggling church members. Said Mutumwa:

I used a portion of the money to pay school fees for the children of struggling church members, ensuring their education wouldn’t be interrupted.

Additionally, I provided some members with start-up capital to launch their own businesses, fostering financial independence within the community. Even basic needs were met as I helped cover rent payments for families facing hardships.

This windfall wasn’t meant for personal gain, but to uplift those in need. It’s a testament of God’s generosity, and I felt compelled to share it with those who needed it the most.

A manager at a local casino who spoke to B-Metro on condition of anonymity said casinos typically restrict or close accounts of those who win consistently, defending the practice as legal. He said:

They have real-time data on who is winning. This allows them to employ a little-known strategy of preventing big payouts by restricting or even closing accounts of consistent winners.

Once a customer is identified as highly successful, tipping the scales in their favour, operators can limit their betting amounts or shut them down entirely.

While it may seem unfair, it’s perfectly legal. There is nothing illegal about it and the right to do it is written in agencies’ terms and conditions.

Anti-gambling advocates say the practice has significant negative effects on mental health and overall financial well-being which include erosion of savings and bankruptcy.

Gambling may also result in relationship conflicts, emotional or psychological distress, health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

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