Regulation

Nairobi introduces citywide gambling regulations

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Nairobi City County Assembly has approved a Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act which will introduce a local regulatory gambling body and specific licence fees in the county.
Nairobi

The Act was brought forward by the Nairobi City Council Assembly and was enacted on 6 May 2021.

It outlines the inclusion of different forms of gaming as eligible for prize competitions and public lotteries, in order to impose a 10% entertainment tax on gross proceeds of betting, lottery and gaming activities.

The Act will require a licence for anyone who wishes to operate betting, lottery and gaming activities. For betting premises, the licence grant fee stands at KSh600,000 (£3,929/€4,567) with an application and renewal fee of KSh10,000 (£65/€76). For gaming and casino premises, the licence grant fee is KSh1,500,000 (£9,825/€11,418), while the application and renewal fee is KSh10,000.

The cost of a licence to be granted for a public lottery is KSh4,000,000 (£26,199/€30,449) with an additional KSh1,000,000 (£6,549/€7,612) application and renewal fee.

An application for a licence must be lodged with the Nairobi City County Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Control Board director, whose establishment is outlined in the Act, and will be valid for one year from the date of issue.

The Board will promote and oversee proper procedure for gaming activities in the county. It will consist of a non-executive chairperson, a chief officer, a director, and six trade and finance persons.

The non-executive chairperson and the six trade and finance persons will hold office for three years before they are eligible for reelection for a further term.

“This act is aimed at providing for the implementation of National Government policy, standards and norms in relation to betting, lotteries and gaming in the county,” said Nairobi City County Deputy Governor H.E Ann Kananu.

“It will also provide for the county institutions and for procedures applicable to the regulation and licensing of betting, lotteries and gaming within the county and make provisions for periodic monitoring and evaluation of betting, lotteries and gaming activities within the city.”

Last month, the Kenyan Treasury moved to restore a 20% excise tax on betting stakes through its 2021 Finance Bill. This tax has been a source of major controversy in the country, causing Kenya’s largest operator Sportpesa to leave the market for more than a year. Rival Betin left the market at the same time.

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