The impact of Kenya’s Gambling Control Bill

The Kenya Gambling Control Bill 2023, which is being discussed in parliament, plans to change how gambling works in Kenya. It wants to create a new organization called the Gambling Regulatory Authority to take over from the current Betting, Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).

The main goal of this bill is to manage different types of gambling like betting, casinos, lotteries, and gambling in the media more effectively.

One important part of this bill is that it wants to protect people who gamble. It will introduce tough rules to fight against illegal gambling and stop kids from gambling. The bill will also set a lowest amount for bets to prevent people from gambling too much.

This detail is crucial for Kenya, considering that a large number of its young people are involved in gambling. According to a study by Geopol, a staggering 83.9 percent of Kenya’s youth have engaged in gambling or betting activities. This is compared to 78.3 percent in Nigeria and 74 percent in South Africa, highlighting the widespread nature of gambling among young people in these regions.

It also plans to stop gambling ads on radio and TV during certain times to protect young and vulnerable people from being exposed to gambling too much.

Kenya’s efforts to change gambling laws are being watched by other countries like Brazil, which is also trying to improve its gambling laws. Brazil has decided on a 12 percent tax on casino companies’ earnings and a 15 percent tax on big winnings by gamblers. Brazil, like Kenya, wants to make sure gambling helps the economy but is done responsibly.

The bill requires that Kenyan citizens must own at least 30 percent of the shares in any gambling company, and these companies must do their banking with a Kenyan bank. This rule aims to keep the money made from gambling in Kenya to help the country’s economy.

For taxes, the bill suggests a 15 percent tax on the money gambling businesses make and allows local counties to add their own monthly charges. This is a change from the older 7.5 percent tax, which was controversial. The new tax plan is expected to bring in a more reliable income for the government and help the country grow economically.

The bill in Kenya aims to make gambling better by focusing on protecting gamblers, ensuring responsible gambling, and supporting the country’s economy. It offers a way for countries to design their gambling laws to achieve economic and social goals.


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