The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has barred all radio stations from running lottery programmes unless they secure prior approval.

In a statement to the press on Friday, July 9, BCLB Director P.K Mbugi indicated that the board was alarmed by illegal alliances between license holders and radio stations to run lotteries on their behalf.

Mbugi argued that it is against the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act for media house to run such lotteries.

He further argued that the activities had affected the stations to a point some had been turned into betting shops.

“This scenario has not only provided a fertile ground for unauthorized gaming activities but has also affected the general messaging of prize competitions and lotteries to a menial “send this and win that” without informing the public what competition or lottery they are engaging in.

“In order to address this abuse, radio stations will not be allowed to carry out any lottery or prize competition draw unless the said radio station has a gaming permit to do so,” stated Mbugi.

He further noted that the activities must be witnessed by BCLB officers and that the stations should only be allowed to run advertisements unless they obtain proper licenses.

This comes after an uproar over heightened lottery-like activities across many radio stations around the country.

In June 2020, MPs reduced taxes on winnings from betting which stood at 20 per cent to about 7.5 per cent which was considered a huge boost to gamblers.

Several organisations have in recent weeks been concerned with the rise in gambling tendencies across media platform.

In an effort to regulate the sector, the Media Council of Kenya formed a seven-member taskforce headed by Emmanuel Juma to review betting content across media outlets.

In a notice signed by MCK CEO David Omwoyo Indicated that it reached the decision after noting that content of advertisements did not meet the standards set by the law.