Kenya announces new sports betting regulations

Kenya’s gambling control board has announced new regulations to govern betting activities in the East African country.

The Betting Control and Licensing Board on Thursday announced in a statement that betting firms will not be allowed to – among other restrictions – advertise on social media platforms.

The board also banned outdoor advertising of gambling, advertising of gambling between 6AM and 10PM as well as celebrity endorsements of gambling activities.

“It has further been decided that any form of advertisement of gambling must be approved by the board and such an advertisement must contain a warning message  about the consequences of gambling including its addictiveness and that the warning message must constitute a third of the actual advertisement and be of the same font,” the statement read.

The Kenyan government has previously warned about the negative effects of uncontrolled gambling in the country. Millions of people engage in sports betting in the country, a statistic blamed for some incidences of violence and suicides in the country.

A report released earlier this year by Hootsuite and We Are Social indicated that 11 of the top 20 Google search queries made by Kenyans were directly related to betting.

In January, the government launched a crackdown on the growing number of illegal gambling establishments across the East African country.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) further banned the importation of gaming equipment, machines and devices used for gambling.

The new rules will bring an end to the involvement of former football stars like McDonald Mariga and Dennis Oliech in betting advertisements.

The regulations are expected to take effect in July.