Kenyan lawmakers propose ban on gambling programmes on broadcast media
| By Marese O'Hagan
Kenya's ICT House Committee has announced that Kenya's National Assembly could soon adopt measures that restrict or ban gambling and betting-themed television programmes.
This could be put in place if the House considers a host of recommendations made by gambling regulators.
The announcement comes two months after Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) set out Kenya’s guidelines for gambling advertising, permitting broadcast ads for the first time. The rules include restrictions around broadcasting times and responsible gambling message integration.
The potential measures are currently being considered by the Departmental Committee on Information, Communication and Innovation in the form of amendments to the country’s planned overhaul of its gambling legislation, first proposed in 2019.
During a meeting yesterday (September 8th) between legislators, the Communication Authority and the BCLB, the Committee expressed concerns regarding the potentially harmful effects of gambling advertising on children.
The committee also questioned why there was a sizable increase in the amount of betting licenses distributed by the BCLB.
In response, the Communication Authority explained that media companies that broadcast third party content are are currently allowed to air gambling-themed programming, but added that broadcasters must ensure that the third-party content is “honest, decent and truthful”.
The BCLB expressed that although it had issued advertising warnings to gambling operators, it is the media bodies behind the advertisements that need to adhere to broadcasting guidelines.
In addition, the BCLB provided evidence that it had blocked M-Pesa mobile payments from 70 “unscrupulous” operators in the country between December 2020 and August 2021