Kenya gambling control Bill to transform gambling economy

The bill’s primary objectives are to regulate betting, casinos, and other gambling forms, including prize competitions, public lotteries, and media promotions. This requirement not only promotes local participation but also ensures that the economic benefits of gambling are retained within the country.

The Kenya Gambling Control Bill 2023, currently before parliament, is set to revolutionize the gambling industry in Kenya. This comprehensive legislation aims to establish a new Gambling Regulatory Authority, replacing the existing Betting, Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).

The bill’s primary objectives are to regulate betting, casinos, and other gambling forms, including prize competitions, public lotteries, and media promotions.

The bill states that it, “seeks to regulate betting, casinos and other forms of gambling, including the authorisation of prize competitions, public lotteries and media promotions.”

A significant aspect of the bill is its focus on player protection. It introduces stringent measures to crack down on unlicensed gambling and underage gambling. The bill prohibits the registration of children for any gambling activity and sets a minimum bet limit to discourage irresponsible gambling.

Additionally, it bans the airing of gambling advertisements during specific hours on radio and TV, further safeguarding vulnerable groups from gambling exposure.

The bill mandates that all licensed operators must have a minimum of 30% shares held by Kenyan citizens and facilitate transactions through a Kenyan-registered bank.

This requirement not only promotes local participation but also ensures that the economic benefits of gambling are retained within the country.

In terms of taxation, the bill imposes a 15% tax on gross gambling revenue and introduces a monthly gambling levy determined by local counties. This approach contrasts with Kenya’s previous 7.5% tax on betting stakes, a subject of much controversy.

The new tax structure is expected to provide a more stable and predictable revenue stream for the government, contributing to economic growth.

As Kenya looks to reform its gambling regulation, it stands as a valuable reference for other countries like Brazil that are on the brink of regulating its gambling market.

Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies recently approved online gambling, setting a 12% tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR) – a tax paid by gambling firms and a 15% tax on net winnings exceeding a certain threshold – to be paid by the players. After much debate, this has been approved to include online casino games as well as the originally intended sports betting. Like Kenya, Brazil aims to balance economic benefits with responsible gambling measures.

The taxation levels in Kenya and Brazil reflect different approaches to regulating gambling. Kenya’s focus on gross gambling revenue and local participation suggests a model geared towards sustainable economic development and social responsibility.

In contrast, Brazil’s tax structure, with its emphasis on net winnings, might encourage higher player participation but requires careful monitoring to prevent problem gambling.

The Kenya Gambling Control Bill 2023 is a forward-thinking legislation that promises to reshape the gambling industry in Kenya positively to curtail problem gambling and unlicensed gambling houses. By prioritizing player protection, responsible gambling, and economic growth, it sets a benchmark for the likes of Brazil.

The different taxation models in Kenya and Brazil offer insights into how nations can tailor their gambling regulations to meet specific economic and social goals.

Source: the-star.co.ke

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