New laws to ban betting with less than Sh20

Betting on any platform in Kenya will be for values not less than Sh20 if proposals to a task force looking into the establishment of a National Lottery are adopted. These and other measures are currently undergoing public debate aimed at tightening regulation of the local betting scene.

The Vice Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce, Gideon Thuranira said the team is now conducting public participation tours across the country to solicit feedback from the public and betting firm owners on ways to streamline the industry.

The vice chair pointed out that currently it is difficult to tell whether the person participating in betting is of the required age and these are some of the matters that will be addressed.

“At the moment, you can bet even with Sh1, Sh2 or Sh5 we are trying to raise that to Sh20 because that stops children from participating in gambling. The spirit of this task force and that of its mandate is to grow and develop a national gambling industry that is inclusive and properly regulated,” – said Thuranira.

Last month the task force proposed slashing a chunk of the billions staked every year from punters and channel them into a compulsory Hustler Fund-style savings kitty. This, the team said, is aimed at developing a savings culture among Kenyans.

Thuranira said people were getting into financial problems due to poor regulations of the industry.

“There has been an outcry regarding the state of betting, lottery and gambling in Kenya with many people saying there is no control or regulation,” – added Thuranira.

The taskforce on the establishment of the National Lottery was gazetted on February 17, 2023.

Gideon Thuranira

Thuranira noted that many changes have occurred in the sector since 1966, such as online gambling, gambling across borders, and the infiltration of players who are not addressed by the 1966 Act that governs gaming, lottery, and betting. He said the National Lottery Fund would support charities, signature projects and economic empowerment for women, youth and people living with disabilities.

Thuranira said Betting Control Licensing Board would be transformed into Gambling Regulatory Authority with an expanded mandate and greater capacity once the taskforce completes its work. He said the authority would ensure better regulations without killing small players. He said they had benchmarked with countries like Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Singapore, Italy and Britain to come up with a competitive operator.


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