Bill seeks to prohibit daytime gambling, if caught fine set at Sh10M

Should the Bill become law, daytime gambling in Nairobi will be a crime

Sports enthusiasts watch different games on screens while betting at a sports betting shop in July 15, 2019 in Nairobi. - (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Nairobi County Assembly is considering a proposal to impose several restrictions on gambling in the city, industry including restricting gambling between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

The Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill 2021, sponsored by South B MCA Waithera Chege, seeks to also restrict gambling operations to five-star hotels with a casino.

Should the Bill become law, those found contravening it will face a four-year jail term with the option of a Sh10 million fine for opening outside of permitted hours.

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."

If passed, it will mark a departure from the current situation where gamblers can place bets any time of the day.

The Bill also seeks to push telecoms operators to cancel all the USSD codes used by radio stations in their gaming activities.

In 2019, data from a survey made by US-based research company, Geopoll, showed out of those age (18+), 57% have participated in gambling in the past, including 69% of males and 44% of females.

Of those who gamble, 47% are light gamblers who place bets once a month or less, and only 10% of gamblers place bets more than once a day.

The study also found that gambling is most popular among males aged 25-34, of whom 77% have gambled in the past, with 58% of this group gambling at least once a week.

Females aged 35+ are the least likely participants in gambling; Only 46% of this population have ever gambled.

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