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The Kenyan government is doing all it can to tame the spread of gambling in the country. According to the newly proposed bill, the government will deduct a large amount of billions wagered every year and channel it into a compulsory Hustler-Fund savings kitty. The Presidential Taskforce has come up with this strategy as a way of developing a savings culture in the country.
Further, all gamblers must stake a minimum of SH20 to gamble online, according to the new laws of the National Lottery. The amount to be slashed from the punter’s stake will be determined by the new Gambling Regulatory Authority in collaboration with the Interior Cabinet Secretary.
“A player in the online gambling activity shall not bet an amount less than twenty shillings in a competition. The minimum amount shall be inclusive of such saving component for the player as shall be determined by the Authority in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary,” states the Draft Gambling Control Bill.
The law targets the vast majority of Kenyans who bet every day, and the revenue generated will be channeled to the Hustler Funds savings, which has so far collected more than Sh 1 billion. If the new bill is approved by the parliament, it will replace the old Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act.
Currently, Kenyans are taxed 7.5% on all wagered amounts and 20% on all winnings. The good thing is that the new proposal has maintained the gambling tax of 15% of revenue generated by the betting and gambling firms.
All gambling operators will be forced to pay a monthly gambling levy to the Gambling Regulatory Authority at a rate not exceeding 1% of the monthly gross gambling revenue. Any operator that permits a person to gamble online for an amount less than the recommended SH20 risks penalties of up to Sh5 million or imprisonment.
It shall be the full responsibility of the operator to request proof of age during registrations and setting measures and control systems to protect minors from exploitation. Also, operators must ensure maximum security and safety against criminal activities, payment systems, protection against vulnerability, and awareness of responsible advertising.
On the other hand, the Gambling Regulatory Authority shall facilitate real-time monitoring of gambling activities and make it available to the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and other government agencies.
Additionally, the draft bill states that in case of mobile online gambling, lottery, or a betting license, details of the network connectivity with two links to mobile operators shall be provided to the Authority (CA). All online gambling operators shall pay out winnings within 2 days and 7 days for non-monetary prizes.
“The task force is mandated to propose reforms that seek to regulate the betting and gaming sector, which has over a period of time been the subject of extreme opinion and controversy, with the primary objective being to transform the sector into a force for social progress, anchored on the necessary safeguards that assure a responsible gambling environment,” said the Presidential Taskforce Chairperson, Narendra Raval.