The Nyeri Town MP Duncan Maina Mathenge’s plan to regulate the gambling business in the National Assembly through a bill before the Kenyan Parliament.
It suggests urgently tightening regulations on lotteries, other forms of gambling masking themselves as surveys and contests, SMS-based gambling by media organizations, and the strict operationalization of the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act in addition to enhancing control and industry monitoring.
Thanks to developments in technology and evolving demands from customers, the sector is rapidly developing. The growth of internet gambling is a significant development that presents both new potential and difficulties for the industry. It enables one to engage in a variety of gambling activities from home, improving accessibility for weaker persons like children and those with addiction problems.
More than 170 gambling businesses had licenses to operate in Kenya as of June of last year, according to figures from the Kenya Revenue Tax Authority, and the industry was expected to generate a gross revenue of Sh50 billion.
The global gambling industry, which employs millions of people and has many different components, brings in billions of dollars annually. Its diverse activities include online gambling, lotteries, casinos, and sports betting. Even though gambling is still a popular past time for many people, there are ethical and impact issues.
Putting its concerns aside, gaming provides millions of individuals with entertainment and leisure. For instance, going to a casino or betting on your favorite sports team can be exciting experiences and ways to relax. It offers a forum for making acquaintances and socializing.
The second benefit is that it generates employment opportunities and promotes economic growth. As a result, it creates economic opportunities and provides governments with a sizable source of tax and license money.
Thirdly, using gambling to support charity is a possibility. Many gaming companies sponsor charitable events and make donations to non-profits serving the community.
Gambling does, however, have disadvantages that are frequently ignored. Its ability to cause addiction, which is detrimental and expensive to both individuals and society, is one of its biggest drawbacks.
Addiction can have very negative effects, such as relationship breakup, financial devastation, social isolation, and high rates of school absences.
Second, it could provide a haven for illegal operations like fraud, corruption, and money laundering. Casinos and other gaming venues, for instance, are frequently used as fronts by criminal organizations for their illicit activities. Furthermore, users may support their addiction by taking part in criminal activity like stealing or embezzlement.
Thirdly, it may raise ethical issues, particularly when it comes to how it affects weaker people like children, the elderly, people with little incomes, and addicts.
Regulation will protect consumer interests and support the industry’s ethical behavior. However, it is crucial that all stakeholders in the sector participate in any decisions made, as those in the proposed bill. With everybody on board, there will be little or no conflicts if the bill is signed into law.
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