Gambling regulator concerned over legal loopholes in Kenya

The Lotteries and Gaming Act in force in Kenya does not address illegalities in online gambling.

The Betting Control and Licensing Board admitted there are legal loopholes that make it difficult to regulate gambling in Kenya.

Kenya.- The Betting Control and Licensing Board has admitted there are legal loopholes that make it difficult to regulate gambling in the African country. Members told a parliamentary committee that a new law covering online gambling practices is needed to deal with unscrupulous firms exploiting Kenyans.

The board’s gaming director Charles Wambia and chairman Antony Kimani explained to the National Assembly Labour and Social Welfare Committee that the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act does not cover illegalities in online gambling.

“The board came into place in 1966 and betting laws under Chapter 131 need to be changed because betting and gaming is now done electronically. Today, someone operating online in Nairobi is able to reach the entire nation. Proper and comprehensive regulations will help cover online gaming practices,” expressed Kimani.

After his explanation, the committee chaired by Matungu MP David Were, considered summoning Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and his PS to shed more light on the matter. According to Kimani, there are 43 public gaming casinos, 32 sports betting companies and eight lottery firms duly registered and operating in Kenya.

On its part, Wambia affirmed that the board and the Interior ministry are working on a draft bill proposing total overhaul of the Betting and Gaming Act. “I can confirm there are illegal betting machines and companies in the country. We are cleaning up a draft bill with the Interior ministry, proposing amendments to viable fines,” he said.