Last month, the Betting Control and Licensing Board said the majority of betting and gaming firms had not complied with licensing requirements.
Kenya.- The Kenyan gambling regulator, the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), says it has cleared 11 companies to receive operating licences for the 2022/2023 financial year. BCLB chairman Cyrus Maina sent the names of the companies deemed eligible for licences in a letter to Ezra Chiloba, director general of the Communications Authority of Kenya.
The firms that have now been deemed eligible to receive licences are reported to include Betika, Odibets, Dafabet, Bangbet, Kilibet, Kwik Bet, Sportika, Betviva, Scorepesa, A Kick-off Sports Bar and Betafriq.
The news comes after the Betting Control and Licensing Board reported last month that the majority of betting and gaming firms had not complied with licensing requirements.
The Communications Authority of Kenya ordered mobile network operators to stop issuing ICT platforms and services, including USSDs, shortcodes, and paybill numbers to betting, gaming and lottery operators who had not renewed their Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) licences.
General Chiloba said the directive was in line with licence conditions on the provision of the licensed services. Gaming firms require their licences to be renewed by the BCLB.
However, new requirements imposed by interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i require clearance by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Financial Reporting Centre, CA and the Interagency security team as well as the Communications Authority. The majority of the betting, gaming and lottery firms reportedly did not meet those criteria.
Matiang’i has ordered a crackdown on unlicensed gambling, asking the BCLB to create a list of unlicensed sites that the Communications Authority will then be instructed to block.
In May, the BCLB began an investigation into money gaming operators invest in the sponsorship of sports clubs and community projects amid rumours that betting companies were channelling funds to political parties rather than CSR activities. Chief executive Peter Mbugi ordered all gaming operators to disclose the activities, amounts, and beneficiaries of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) spending.