NEWS 12 October 2017
Kenya plans to curb slot machines with new bill
By Manuel Marti
The government of Kenya has announced further changes into the undergoing gambling regulation with its latest plans to curb slot machines.
According to local news outlet The Daily Nation , National Assembly Majority Leader Duale has introduced a new bill which would require slot machines investors to ask permission to the central government in order to set up their businesses.
Under the new legislation, “no license shall be issued under this Act unless the Board has sent a copy of the application for the license 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,” read on the amendment presented on Wednesday to parliament.
While local lawmakers see the stricter bill as the appropriate measure to stop betting machines spreading across the nation, analaysts believe it is a ineffective bureaucratic decision which will only prolong the process.
Additionally, legislators said this bill should be implemented with tougher penalties. He proposed fines up to $19,000 or two-year jail sentences for illegal use of slot machines. For illegal street gambling, the penalties would increase from the current $29 up to $967.
This measure follows Kenya’s national crackdown of the gaming industry. Earlier this year, the government imposed 35% tax increase on gaming revenue which aims to deter minors and other vulnerable groups from betting.
However, this taxation did not please operators and providers as sport betting company SportPesa announced it will end sponsorship of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) after the government’s decision.