Kenya deports betting firms’ directors

The government of Kenya has struck 17 foreign betting firms’ directors with deportation orders as it clamps down on the industry. 

Kenya.- A week after the government ordered the suspension of payments for sports betting firms, the segment got another blow. Kenya decided to deport 17 foreign betting firms’ directors, the interior ministry revealed.

“The cabinet secretary (minister) signed 17 deportation orders for directors of betting companies,” said Wangui Muchiri, head of communications.

The decision is part of a clampdown by the government as it tries to reduce the segment’s “social impact.”

New gambling restrictions

Committee chair Victor Munyaka explained Kenya’s new gambling legislation is meant to seal the numerous loopholes in the industry. He said the 170 clauses documented in the proposals will address addiction, to protect the youth.

“These proposals will seal most of the gaps in the existing law,” Munyaka said. “They will deal with and cure many of the concerns raised by Kenyans about an unregulated, uncontrolled and carelessly operated industry with many far-reaching negative effects to millions of citizens.”

“The proposed repeal is informed by the fact that the existing legislation is archaic in nature and fails to address the modern-day challenges facing the betting and gaming industry especially during this era of internet connectivity,” he said.

Recent suspensions

The Kenyan government has fulfilled its warning to suspend licensees that fail to comply with local regulations. The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has delayed the renewal of the operational licences of multiple operators.

Kenya betting licence holders hit are 13 casinos, six lotteries and eight sports betting operators. They included a further 19 betting operators, pending security vetting of their operations and ownership.

The BCLB said it “shall not hesitate to debar non-compliant operators in any category.” It detailed it will conduct a quarterly review to confirm they comply with Kenya betting licence requirements.

In this article:
Kenya legal