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BCLB Releases New Guidelines on Gambling Adverts on Kenyan Media

BCLB Releases New Guidelines on Gambling Adverts on Kenyan Media

The Betting Control and Licensing Board issued new guidelines on gambling-related adverts running on Kenyan broadcast media. Responsible gambling messages and broadcast times are among the new regulations issued by the regulator.

New Times for Running Gambling-Related Ads on Kenyan Broadcast Media

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) issued new guidelines about gambling-related advertisements. Gambling operators will now need to run their ads by the regulator for approval before printing or airing. The regulator also requires operators to include the BCLB number on these ads. 

Responsible gaming takes center stage in the new guidelines. The regulator requires all gaming messages to include a responsible gaming message in the ads. These messages include specifying the age limit and customer care numbers. Glamorizing gambling is also prohibited in the ads. 

These ads will only run from 9 pm to 6 am. The remaining slots are set aside for running responsible gambling messages. That is from 9 am to 4 pm. Corporate social responsibility ads will now run from 6 am to 9 am. No advertising of any nature will run from 4 pm to 9 pm. 

Gambling-related advertisements are also banned from running around childrens’, family, or religious shows. 

BCLB Releases New Guidelines on Gambling Adverts on Kenyan Media

Responsible Gambling Messages to Occupy 20% of the Ad Duration

The government is keen on curtailing gambling in Kenya. Apart from just including responsible gaming messages in the ads, operators must ensure these messages occupy at least 20% of the ad duration. 

This duration should also contain age restrictions and the BCLB license number. The phrase “authorized and regulated by the Betting Control and Licencing Board” should also appear during this duration. 

Only four ads in an hour will run on the radio. They will also need to follow the new timelines for televisions. 

The new advertising rules come at the back of the reintroduction of the fiercely contested betting stake tax. This was after the Kenyan parliament passed the Finance Bill of 2021. The good news is the new tax is set at 7.5% instead of the initial 20%

The initial tax rate led several operators to exit the market. Sportpesa was one of the operators involved in the exodus, terming the 20% excise tax on betting stakes hostile. The betting operator stated the Kenyan treasury failed to grasp how bookmakers generate revenue. 

MPs would later repeal the amendment in 2020. The Finance Committee stated it repealed the excise tax since bettors placed bets on offshore platforms. These platforms are not subject to any tax, leading to loss of revenue to the government. 

The Finance Bill of 2021 would later provide a reprieve to operators thanks to Sportpesa’s intervention. The Finance Committee proposes to lower the excise tax on betting stakes to 7.5%. But it would apply to non-charitable lotteries as well as prize competitions too. This is instead of the initial proposal to impose the tax on betting.