The government has banned the advertising of gambling on social media platforms, a move that is likely to hit hard on betting and gambling firms in Kenya.
The government has also banned celebrities from endorsing betting and gambling operations. Kenya’s betting firms have been using celebrities such as footballers and musicians to endorse their products and services.
The move by the government is expected to affect the operations of most betting firms that have been accused of impacting negatively on the lives of many young people in Kenya as well as failing to remit their taxes.
Betting firms such as SportPesa and Betin have been using social media as their main channels of reaching out to their customers. Betin, for instance, has a contract known footballers who appear in their adverts.
The government, through the Ministry of Interior, confirmed that 76 percent of Kenyan youth are involved in gambling in one way or another.
56 percent of those involved in gambling are from the lowest income category while the remaining 46 are from the middle-income category.
Kenya has at least 17 major registered betting companies that have hundreds of thousands of Kenyans subscribers who have a dream and hope of winning millions of shillings and becoming rich overnight.
In 2018, betting and gambling firms in Kenya received a whopping 200 billion shillings in revenues. Out of the 200 billion shillings, only 4 billion shillings were remitted as the tax. This means they made at least 196 billion shillings in profits.
The gambling sector in Kenya is approximately worth 2 trillion shillings and has managed to lure the young people with the promise of them getting rich with millions overnight through betting.
The government said it will not renew contracts for betting firms in Kenya starting the month of July if the firms will not file their tax returns.