Kenyan government reduces odds of betting company with new bill

The maximum amount one can wager has been increased to Sh50,000 from Sh1.

The government has rolled out a new set of measures to deal with gambling, this time targeting the slot machine investors with punitive fines against those in breach.

Under proposed changes to the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, county governments will also now have a say in the establishment of gambling firms in their areas.

“No licence shall be issued under this Act unless the board has sent a copy of the application for the licence to the county government within whose area of jurisdiction the applicant proposes to conduct his business and has given the county government reasonable opportunity to object to, or make recommendations with respect to the application.”  It states.

The proposals which have been sponsored by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale via the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill has already been taken through the First Reading.

Should the bill become law, security deposit for a firm seeking a gambling licence will be Sh20 million ($200,000) up from Sh40,000 ($400).

Illegal use of the machines will earn a penalty of Sh2 million ($20,000)or a maximum two-year jail term up from Sh5000 ($50).

The penalty for street gaming has also been increased from Sh3,000 ($30)  to Sh100,000 ($1000) or imprisonment for one year, or both.

The maximum amount one can wager has been increased to Sh50,000 ($500) from Sh1.

Kenya has been struggling to contain spread of gambling and has tried to initiate several laws to contain the vice in the past without success.

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