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New Regulations Aim to Curb Underage Betting and Set Limits in Kenya!

The Kenyan government is taking decisive action to address the growing concerns surrounding the gambling industry by introducing a comprehensive set of regulations designed to protect vulnerable individuals, with a specific focus on curbing underage betting.

The new measures, outlined in the Kenya Gambling Control Bill 2023, are set to revolutionize the industry, and promote responsible gambling practices throughout the country. One of the key aspects of the bill is the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority, which will replace the current Betting, Control and Licensing Board (BCLB). This new authority will be tasked with overseeing various forms of gambling, including betting, casinos, lotteries, and gambling in the media, ensuring a more effective and streamlined approach to regulation.

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Central to the bill’s objectives is the protection of gamblers, particularly the youth. With an alarming 83.9 percent of Kenya’s young people engaging in gambling or betting activities, the government recognizes the urgent need for intervention. The proposed regulations will introduce stringent age verification processes to prevent underage individuals from accessing gambling platforms. Additionally, the bill will set a minimum betting amount to discourage excessive gambling and promote responsible behaviour among participants.

To further shield vulnerable groups from the potential harms of gambling, the bill proposes restrictions on gambling advertisements on radio and television during specific hours. This measure aims to reduce the exposure of young people and other susceptible individuals to gambling-related content, thereby mitigating the risk of developing problematic gambling habits.

The economic impact of the gambling industry has not been overlooked in the proposed legislation. The bill mandates that Kenyan citizens must hold at least a 30 percent stake in any gambling company operating within the country, and these companies must conduct their banking through a Kenyan bank. This provision seeks to ensure that the revenue generated from gambling activities remains within the country, contributing to the growth of the domestic economy.

In terms of taxation, the bill proposes a 15 percent tax on the revenue generated by gambling businesses, while also allowing local counties to impose additional monthly fees. This revised tax structure is expected to provide a more stable income stream for the government and support the nation’s economic development.

Mrs. Charlene, a member of Parliament, also expressed her support for the new regulations. She said, “The Kenya Gambling Control Bill 2023 is a significant step forward in safeguarding our youth and promoting responsible gambling practices. By implementing strict age verification measures, setting betting limits, and regulating advertisements, we aim to create a safer environment for all Kenyans while ensuring that the industry contributes positively to our economy.”

As Kenya moves to implement these ground-breaking changes, the international community is closely watching, with countries like Brazil also seeking to reform their own gambling legislation. The success of Kenya’s approach may serve as a model for other nations looking to strike a balance between harnessing the economic potential of the gambling industry and protecting the well-being of their citizens.

William Musyoka

An enthusiastic i-gaming ambassador, writer, and editor. Wide and broad know-how of the African gaming sphere. Always ready to expand on any shared synergies for mutual benefits and growth.

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