Gaming Board Directs Immediate Cessation of Speed Dial Feature by Betting Operators

The Betting and Control Licensing Board (BCLB) has resolved to stop the use of the ‘Speed Dial’ feature on different internet browsers for promoting betting, lottery, and gaming activities.

This directive was in response to a case filed by the Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) against the gaming board. COFEK argued that betting firms were using the feature to target Kenyan internet users.

COFEK asserted that the betting board and other involved parties neglected the regulation of advertisements, thereby posing a risk to consumers, particularly children and youth.

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

The Federation added that the use of the Speed Dial feature exposes children to serious and irreversible harm, contradicting the government’s campaign for the protection of minors online. With a single click, the speed dial feature forces consumers to land on a betting company’s website.

A browser speed dial is a visual compilation of entries derived from a user’s most frequently visited pages on a specific browser. These entries, presented as thumbnails, enable users to click and directly access the respective pages.

The consumer body pointed out that, for example, a browser like Opera Mini had introduced a speed dial feature specifically customized for Kenya. On any given day, this feature provided five to seven shortcuts leading to prominent betting firms.

Mutual Consent Agreement

BCLB and other parties have now reached a mutual agreement, registered in court, to immediately discontinue using the ‘Speed Dial’ feature.

“That the Betting Control and Licensing Board does and is hereby directed that all gaming operators to cease the use of speed dial feature forthwith,” – reads the consent.

In the consent adopted by Justice Lawrence Mugambi, the board, the Attorney General, and the CS Information reached the agreement on Tuesday, settling only one of the contentious issues raised in the petition filed by the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) last year.

The court has scheduled a hearing for the remaining issues in May this year. The judge declared that the consent shall serve as a court order.


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