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Kenya proposes fresh crack down on gambling advertisements

The Kenyan National Assembly is considering a bill that would mean that gambling advertising across the country will be subject to stricter controls.

All TV and radio ads to dedicate at least 10% of their air time to responsible gaming messaging, with gambling ads prohibited from airing between 6AM and 10PM, unless during live sports broadcasts.

The new framework, which is set to be debated next week, is intended to help revamp the country’s regulatory framework for gambling, imposing significantly higher costs on licensed operators while establishing the country’s first national lottery.

The Gaming Bill 2019, which was designed to replace the 1966 Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, aims to update the country’s regulations to reflect the prominence of online operators in the market.

A limit to how many adverts can be shown is also due to be introduced via the launch of the Gaming Advertisement Tax. The new tax will incur a 35 per cent charge on all adverts broadcast, although it is yet to be clarified as to whether this tax will be handed to operators or broadcasters.

With the new Gaming Bill it will affect the ways in which operators can promote their products, meaning operators will now have to turn towards affiliates for product promotions.

As well as establishing a new regulatory authority, the bill also looks to establish Gaming Appeals Tribunals, with a body that would adjudicate in gambling-related disputes.

The tax rate in Kenya is not set to be impacted by the new proposals, however, following a sky 2018 where taxes were raised and then subsequently dropped; minimum bets limits have been proposed by officials, suggesting the amount on bets to be capped at KES50 (£0.39), which is roughly half of the minimum spend proposed by SportPesa.

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