Kenya is gearing up for a major overhaul of its gambling laws with the introduction of the Gambling Control Bill 2023. The bill, sponsored by National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah, aims to establish a new regulatory body to replace the current Betting, Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) and introduce comprehensive regulations on various forms of gambling in the country.
The new bill is currently being deliberated in Parliament, and if passed, it would bring significant changes to the gambling landscape in Kenya. One of the key aspects of the bill is the introduction of stricter regulations aimed at expanding gambling while also ensuring robust oversight.
Under the proposed laws, gambling operators would be required to adhere to a set of new rules and regulations. The bill envisions the creation of a regulator with strong enforcement powers to clamp down on any potential breaches of the gambling laws. To discourage non-compliance, the bill also proposes the introduction of fines for violations, as well as requiring operators to post a bank guarantee or insurance security bond to cover potential breaches.
Furthermore, the bill introduces specific penalties for certain infractions, such as promoting unlicensed lotteries, with fines of up to KES 1 million or imprisonment. The bill also prohibits bets under KES 20, with hefty fines of up to KES 50 million for companies that violate this rule. Additionally, the bill aims to protect minors by banning gambling advertising between 6 am and 10 pm.
In terms of taxation, the bill proposes a 15% tax on gross revenue for gambling operators, as well as a monthly levy. Lotteries would also be required to donate 30% of their proceeds to charity organizations.
Overall, the Gambling Control Bill 2023 represents a comprehensive effort to reform and regulate the gambling industry in Kenya. If enacted, it would bring about significant changes to the way gambling is conducted and overseen in the country.