Kenya’s Ban on Gambling Ads Gets Pushed Back
One of Africa’s most profitable gambling industries may be getting a break. According to new reports, Kenya’s ban on gambling ads has officially been pushed back. That’s great news for celebrities here who earn sizeable paychecks for appearing in major gaming ads.
Interestingly, these celebrities may be a major reason why Kenyan lawmakers have delayed the new ad regulations. First, we’re going to talk about why Kenya was considering these new laws. Later on, we’ll discuss whether or not the restrictions will be implemented in the near future.
Why Was Kenya Pushing for Gambling Ad Restrictions?
Many different countries in Africa have been pushing for tighter gambling regulations this year. Back in January, Uganda decided to close its online sports betting market to foreign gaming companies. Kenya is working on its own new set of gaming laws.
Both land-based and online sports betting are legal in Kenya. This industry has grown extremely popular over the years, yet there is serious concern over the implications it’s having on society. According to BBC, a 2016 report indicates that 78% of university students here in Kenya are problem gamblers.
Online gambling is making it easier than ever to place bets. Today, many of the top online gambling sites in Europe are available in Kenya. As you’d probably expect, the simplification of gambling is increasing the number of gambling addicts.
Lawmakers in Kenya have worked hard to curb problem gambling. They raised tax fees on gambling companies in 2017 and are now targeting these companies’ marketing efforts. Interestingly, Kenya’s ban on gambling ads is being delayed.
Why Has Kenya’s Ban on Gambling Ads Been Pushed Back?
The news that Kenya was delaying the new gambling restrictions came as a surprise. Reports show that a major celebrity has delayed the new laws. One prominent musician here is claiming that the restrictions would eliminate his opportunity to earn celebrity endorsements.
In case you’re unaware, Kenya has not planned to completely eliminate all gambling ads in the country. Instead, they’re making it illegal for celebrities to endorse these gaming companies. It’s well-known that many famous Kenyans rely on these endorsements as a form of income.
Muriji Kamau Wanjohi is leading the charge against Kenya’s ban on gambling ads. His lawyer commented on the case by stating,
“My client’s economic rights and those of other celebrities’ were in danger.”
These efforts seem to have paid off.
Justice James Makau of Kenya’s High Court confirmed that the new restrictions are being pushed back for further review. What can we expect next?
Online Gambling Market in Kenya Continues to Grow
Over the past five years, Kenya’s internet gambling industry has grown from just 2 billion shillings ($19.8 million) to 200 billion shillings ($1.9 billion). It’s one of the fastest-growing online betting markets in the world. The government here earns valuable revenue from gambling operations, yet concerns over gambling addiction are rising.
It’s not exactly a good look for Kenyan officials to suspend these plans. From afar, it looks as if celebrities are vastly more important than protecting average Kenyans from gambling addiction issues. Many politicians here still want to see these marketing restrictions set into place in the near future.
There are no reports of when these gaming laws will officially take place. Previously, the government had announced they would be implemented on May 30th. Time will tell whether or not the courts can agree to new regulations in the near future.
Do you think Kenya’s High Court made the right decision to delay the new gambling laws? Is this fair to gamblers with problems here? Let us know in the comment section below!
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