Legislators for Kenya’s most populated jurisdiction are reportedly considering a measure that would prohibit punters from being able to gamble between the hours of five o’clock in the morning and 8 o’clock in the evening.
According to a Monday report from The Star newspaper, the proposition before the Nairobi County Assembly is the brainchild of local representative Waithera Chege and would also ban the placement of physical advertisements for betting and gaming near wagering establishments.
The newspaper reported that Chege’s proposal, which is known as the Nairobi City County Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill 2021, would moreover forbid those in Nairobi County, which is coterminous with the nation’s largest city, Nairobi, from utilizing their mobile devices to gamble and endeavor to reduce the time local punters spend within wagering establishments by obliging such venues to begin accepting cashless transactions.
A first-term representative with the conservative Jubilee political party, Chege serves as the Deputy Majority Whip for the Nairobi County Assembly and reportedly stated that her measure would look to amend the Nairobi City County Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act 2021 so as ‘to further regulate this sector and not to totally do away with betting and gaming’. She purportedly moreover admitted to being dismayed at Kenya having the highest estimated rate of youth gambling in sub-Saharan Africa at 76% but did acknowledge that the gaming and betting industry ‘plays a key role in contribution of revenues for both levels of government.’
Chege reportedly told the newspaper…
“I have observed the operation of betting and gaming establishments in the county for a while now and I believe something must be done to curtail the hours spent in these establishments by our youth if we are to secure our future as a county. I shall be proposing that the county and national licensing board limit the operating hours of these establishments from 8pm to 5am so as to help keep productive hours among the citizenry and avoid wastage of time by some youths who are, sadly, now addicted to gambling and spend a lot of time in these establishments.”
The Standard newspaper used a subsequent report to cite a Geopoll survey in asserting that young adults in Kenya gamble more than their compatriots in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana or South Africa and spend an average of $50 every month on a range of wagers with football-related bets being the most popular. This review purportedly questioned 3,879 people spread across the six nations aged 17 to 35 and asserted that local punters were often swayed by stories of jackpot successes and have begun to view gambling as an easy way of making money.