BETTING OFFICIALLY BARRED IN KENYA
Children will be barred from betting if the government implements the recommendations of a task force.
Among the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on the Establishment of a National Lottery is to outlaw betting by Kenyans below 18 years. Currently, there is no law restricting any person of any age from gambling.
The team also wants the minimum amount one can stake raised from Sh1 to Sh20.
“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,” revealed the task force’s vice-chairman Gideon Thuranira.
The task force, chaired by billionaire Narendra Raval, is currently winding up its work. It has already concluded its public participation tours across the country in which it sought views from the public and owners of betting firms on how to streamline the sector.
Today, the revised Draft National Lottery Bill 2023 and the Gambling Control Bill 2023 will be made available to the public for their input. The task force is in the process of finalising the incorporation of the comments gathered into the two Bills and the Draft Gambling Policy for Kenya 2023.
“The revised draft policy and Bills will be available for access on the task force’s website by Friday (today). This is the reason we as a task force have scheduled to undertake a virtual national validation forum on the revised policy and Bills by next week,” said Mr Raval through an advertisement in the media.
“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 Mr Thuranira. “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.”
He added: “Since 1966 to now, a lot of developments and changes have come into the sector, like online gambling, gambling across borders that aren’t addressed by the 1966 Act.”
The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) is the current regulator of the sector. The government seeks to transform it into the Gambling Regulatory Authority with an expanded mandate and greater capacity once the task force completes its work.
Mr Thuranira said the authority will bring in proper regulations without killing small players.
By daily nation