Kenya – State tightens betting ads rules to check addiction

The Kenyan government has published fresh rules restricting advertisement hours by betting firms in a signal of yet another tough ride for sector players this year after a tumultuous 2019.

The Betting Licensing and Control Board (BLCB) has pushed all TV betting adverts to the hours between 8pm and 6am during school days.

Betting firms will, however, be allowed to promote their community uplifting projects between 6am and 9am and to educate the public on responsible betting between 9am and 4pm.

The hours between 4pm and 8pm during school days, there will be no advertising whatsoever,” – the new rules state.

Adverts during school holidays and Saturdays will only be allowed between 9pm and 6am while on Sundays, the betting firms will only advertise between 8pm to 6am in strict measures aimed at protecting children from the addictive practice.

The new rules come months after the High Court thwarted a similar attempt to restrict advertising hours, saying the regulations published last year were – “procedurally unfair, tainted with illegality and could not stand legal scrutiny.”

There have been rising concerns over the number of youth gambling. Last year, the betting and gambling firms faced a sustained State crackdown marked by hefty tax demand and physical raid on premises that culminated in the exit of firms like Sportpesa and Betin.

State the new rules issued on December 16 last year: “Adverts are prohibited around children shows, religious programmes and family shows.”


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