As if the death of Sportpesa and Betin wasn’t enough, the betting sector in the country is set for an overhaul in light of the government’s newest guidelines set to rein in on the industry.
A report published by Business Daily on Tuesday, January 8, indicated that the government had pushed for fresh rules to restrict advertisement hours by the betting industry stakeholders.
One of the rules fronted by the government calls for the pushing of all betting adverts to the hours between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. on school days.
“There would be absolutely no advertising between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. during school days,” the publication quoted.
Betting firms will, however, be allowed to air the community uplifting projects between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and lessons on responsible betting between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
During school holidays and Saturdays, the adverts have been relegated to between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. while on Sundays, betting firms would only be allowed to advertise between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The government explained that the new measures were aimed at protecting Kenyan children from the adverse effects of betting addiction.
A Geopoll study in 2017 on the rise of sports betting in Africa showed Kenya had the highest number of gambling youth aged between 17-35 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that sports betting had become the most popular form of gambling.
Such reports led Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to crack the whip on the industry with a view to creating lasting reforms, a matter that led to the exit of major players in the betting industry.
The advertising industry has been central in the survival of the betting sector with billions being splashed every month to ensure that the adverts reach the Kenyan audience.
A report published by The Standard on March 19, 2019, showed that between April and June 2018, four of Kenya’s largest betting companies cumulatively spent slightly above Ksh5 billion on advertising.