Kenyan operators against gambling bill

Betting stakeholders said that the proposed gambling bill could end up hurting potential tax revenues.

Kenya.- Kenyan betting operators represented by the Association of Gaming Operators of Kenya (AGOK) urged the National Assembly to stop the National Gambling Bill proposed by MP Jakoyo Midiwo.

According to the stakeholders, the directives that drafted the bill were uninformed and misguided, therefore it doesn’t represent them or their interests. According to The Star of Kenya,  Association of Gaming Operators of Kenya chairman Ronald Karauri said that the poor understanding of the gaming industry has led to stigmatisation which had a negative impact on business.

The committee is currently receiving public input on the bill, and Karauri took the opportunity to encourage them to look into the benefits that the industry brought to the local economy. “It is not fair that we have been highly stigmatised yet the supposed number of deaths and addiction levels are based on unproven hearsay and not facts,” he added. “The Bill requires significant amendments. It would not be the same Bill as it was at the first reading. There appears to be a concerted targeting of the industry through measures that are designed to cripple the industry.”

Back in December, the Parliament confirmed that they would discuss a new bill that contained stricter regulations that aim to control the gambling industry. The Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Amendment Bill wants to lessen the number of facilities in specific locations, among other things.