On Wednesday morning, the Parliament in Kenya approved a bill that aims to replace the Betting, Lotteries, and Gambling Act. Thus, it targets to regulate betting and gambling activities in the country. A Member of the Parliament spoke about the need to regulate the Kenyan betting industry. Here, he stated that the young population must be discouraged from uncontrolled and imprudent use.
Moreover, he said, “In the 2017 survey by Geopoll that covered 18- to 35-year-olds, Kenya recorded the highest proportion of young bettors compared to Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. We destroy an entire generation. Financial despair and unemployment merge with the constant ads, the appeal of gambling and the media coverage that includes those on the winning players’ happiness.”
Furthermore, he explained: “We should include gambling losses among the social evils. The uncontrolled and imprudent use produces the same consequences of corruption, irresponsible sex, alcoholism, drug abuse and other things. Additionally, the Constitution provides that the Media Council of Kenya sets standards to encourage the ethical dissemination of information. The authority sees some media houses that contribute to the uncontrolled and imprudent use of gambling. This should definitely be stopped.”
A mandatory savings account for betting users
In March, the government announced the investment of part of the billions that users wager annually in a mandatory savings account. This is based on the model of the so-called Hustler Fund. This credit project was introduced by the Kenyan government with the aim of developing a savings culture among the Kenyan people. The bill, which would involve the millions of Kenyans that bet annually, therefore emulates the Hustler Fund. The latter already took beyond 1 billion Ksh and represents the government’s most innovative tool for saving money in the informal sector.
Plus, the draft law stipulates that a user of online gambling may not bet less than 20 Ksh per gamble. Additionally, the minimum amount includes a savings mechanism for the gambler. That must be determined by the authority in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary. In the last September, the Head of State decried the opaque space in which online betting sites currently operate. Therefore, he called for their regulation so that they pay taxes.
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