Nairobi to restrict gambling to five-star hotel casinos

Nairobi has launched a fresh assault on the multi-billion betting industry with legislative proposals that restrict gambling to five-star hotels with casinos and impose a four-year jail term or a Ksh10 million ($87,519) fine for opening outside of operating hours.

The Nairobi City County Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2021, currently before the Nairobi County Assembly seeks to restrict the betting and gambling establishments in the city to operating between 8pm and 6am.

If passed, it will mark a departure from the current situation where gamblers can place bets any time of the day. South B ward representative Waithera Chege, the sponsor of the amendments, said the Bill is meant to have the youth engage in productive work and prevent gambling addiction.

“All licensed betting, lotteries and gaming premises and online gaming shall only operate within the hours of 8pm and 6am. A person who contravenes this provision will be liable, upon conviction, to a fine of Ksh10 million or four years imprisonment, or both,” – said Ms Chege.

Ms Chege has raised concern about how Kenyans are spending a lot of their productive time on gambling.

A 2017 Geopoll survey ranked Kenya as the country with the highest number of youths engaging in gambling in sub-Saharan Africa. The report estimated that 76 percent of Kenyans were taking part in betting, with a majority of them being youth aged between 17 and 35.


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