Court overturns CS Matiangi's directive to betting firms

Sigh of relief for betting firms

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i

The High Court on Tuesday overturned Interior CS Fred Matiangi's ban on betting advertisements.

The ruling came following an earlier ruling by Justice James Makau who suspended the ban imposed on betting firms in Kenya.

Murigi Kamau, alias MC Moreydoc, moved to court claiming that the directive issued by CS Matiang'i and the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) had eliminated his source of an income.

Mr Kamau, who also stated he is a musician, took particular issue with the restriction given to celebrities not to promote any betting activities.

"By denying those it tags as celebrities a chance to appear in gaming advertisements and commercials, the BCLB is basically denying the petitioner a way to earn an honest livelihood. One of the ways artistes earn a living is through endorsements," court papers read in part.

Jurisdiction issues and unconstitutional

Justice Makau, in his prior ruling, indicated that BCLB does not have jurisdiction over who betting firms enlist to endorse their products.

In the Tuesday ruling, the judge noted that the directive is also unconstitutional.

"The respondent does not issue licenses to third parties involved in advertisements with gaming, lottery, gambling companies and therefore cannot purport to interfere with contracts they are not privy to," the judge stated.

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