Task force publishes final Gaming Bills before handing over report

The National Lottery and the Gambling Control Bills that are set to streamline the operations of the gaming industry in the country are now ready for adoption.

President William Ruto’s Taskforce on the establishment of a National lottery has published the two revised Bills and gambling policy on its website as it prepares to hand over its final report. The national steering committee chaired by Narendra Raval collected views from stakeholders, experts and Kenyans across the counties before validating the bills.

“Kenyans have spoken and we are confident that their voices have been incorporated in the final bills,”

–  Raval said as he received validated documents from the sub-committees.

Ruto appointed the 25-member team of the steering and technical committees through a Gazette notice dated February 16.

Its terms of reference included developing a policy and implementation plan to guide in establishment and operationalization of a national lottery and review of the necessary bills for onward consideration by the cabinet and parliament. The Cabinet is now set to consider the bills and policy before it is transmitted back to Parliament.

As part of the government’s plan, a gambling regulatory authority has been proposed to succeed the betting control and licensing board (BCLB) in the changes that will see the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act of 1966 repealed.

Statistics available from BCLB for the year 2022/23 show that there are 13 public lotteries, 56 public gaming companies and 105 bookmakers that are registered to operate in the country. Kenya is the third-largest gambling market in Africa after South Africa and Nigeria with the industry generating over Sh200 billion in revenues in 2019.

The government has proposed that 50 per cent of the proceeds from the National Lottery will go towards payouts with 38 per cent assigned to good causes while the remainder reserved for administration. Good causes include sports, recreation, arts, culture and national heritage.

The new proposals have retained the gambling tax known as the betting tax at 15 per cent of the revenue generated by the betting and gambling firms. Betting firms shall be required to pay a monthly gambling levy to GRA at the rate of no more than one per cent of the monthly gross gambling revenue in the new proposals.

Source: the-star.co.ke

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