New bill seeks to restrict daytime gambling in Kenya

The Nairobi County Assembly is considering whether to restrict gambling during the daytime in Kenya.

The Nairobi City County Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill 2021, sponsored by South B MCA Waithera Chege, wants to protect working human hours by restricting gambling between 6am and 8pm.

Ms Waithera commented: “I have observed the operations of betting and gaming establishments in the county for a while now. I believe something must be done to curtail the hours spent in these establishments by our youth if we are to secure our future as a county.

“I shall be proposing that the county and National Licensing Board limit the operating hours of these establishments so as to help protect productive hours among the citizenry and avoid wastage of time by some of our youth who are sadly now addicted to gambling and spend a lot of time at these establishments.”

The proposal’s aim is to also regulate mobile betting and to ban advertising within the vicinity of betting and gaming locations.

Data from a survey made by US-based research company, Geopoll, shows that 76% of young Kenyans had engaged in gambling at least once as of March 2017. (The survey took into consideration young gamblers from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.)

The survey also indicated that, compared to millennials from other sub-Saharan counties, Kenyan young gamblers have placed more bets (most of them on football) and spend an average of $50 monthly.

According to the answers of the participants, advertising had an important contribution to that high percentage, as the youth began seeing betting as a way of making fast money.