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Court directs BCLB to Stop Betting Companies from Using ‘Speed Dial’ Feature

The Betting and Control Licensing Board (BCLB) has been instructed to stop all betting companies from utilizing the ‘Speed Dial’ feature on various web browsers to advertise and promote betting, lottery, and gaming activities in Kenya.

With just one click, the speed dial feature facilitates easy access for consumers to land directly on a betting company’s website. BCLB Betting Speed dial

As part of a consent reached in court, the board, along with the Attorney General and CS Information, agreed on Tuesday to resolve just one of the disputed matters raised in the petition brought by the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) last year.

“That the betting control and licencing board does and is hereby directed that all gaming operators cease the use of speed dial feature forthwith,” states the consent as passed by Justice Lawrence Mugambi.

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The judge ruled that the consent would serve as an official court order.

In its petition, Cofek contended that the feature posed a risk to consumers, particularly children, by subjecting them to harmful practices through the advertisements.

Their rationale is based on the belief that the utilization of the speed dial feature contradicts an ongoing initiative by the communications authority of Kenya, which prioritizes safeguarding children from potential online harm.

According to Cofek, the betting board and other parties have been negligent in regulating and disregarding the control of advertisement, which poses potential dangers to consumers, particularly children and young individuals.

“…that failure has led to the introduction, engagement, and gaming of children and youths, which has caused an addiction and other negative effects,” their papers read in part.

The organization further claims that the unlawful utilization of the speed dial feature is involved in the distribution of information, which poses a significant threat to consumers.

The legal proceedings will continue as Cofek raises other concerns, including a request for an order to compel the Communications Authority (CA) to deactivate any or all internet browsers involved in advertising, betting, gambling, and related promotional activities.

The hearing will continue on May 9th, as scheduled.

Source: The Star BCLB Betting Speed dial

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