Kenyan Gambling Operators On Edge After Licenses Get Cancelled Or Deferred
The Kenya government and gambling operators in the country have been at loggerheads for the last few months as the government believes casino operators are not complying with their regulations. One of the biggest factors that has upset the Kenyan government is that it was able to collect only in gaming taxes when casino operators made a combined total of Sh204 billion.
Casino operators in Kenya were supposed to have their licenses renewed by July 1, 2019. However, that hasn’t happened as the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) decided to send a strong message by cancelling a number of licenses and deferring the renewal of some licenses indefinitely.
The tough stance taken by the BCLB has impacted will impact 19 casino operators who have had their licenses cancelled. The BCLB decided to indefinitely defer the licenses of 8 casino operators which will impact 6 lotteries and 13 casinos.
Betin which is one of the biggest casino operators in Kenya was one of those companies that had their license cancelled. The company has decided to take the legal route and see if it can get that decision overturned.
While the licenses of these casino operators have either been cancelled or deferred indefinitely, it hasn’t stopped them from continuing to offer services in Kenya which technically makes it an illegal operation.
The Kenyan government will continue to impose stringent measures to shake casino operators. The next move is a crackdown on the top management of these betting firms in the country. There are reports that the top bosses of these gambling firms will be asked to leave the country shortly.
Government Cites Problem Gambling
The government has chosen to place the emphasis on the growing concern of problem gambling numbers in the country for its tough stance. A recent GeoPoll survey shows that more than 40 percent of low income Kenyan gamblers do not have a job and another 27 percent are students.
Kenya is the third biggest betting market in Africa and is expected to generate as much as Sh500 billion by the end of 2020. The government stands to lose a lot if it closes its gambling industry as employment opportunities, tax revenue and foreign investment will be lost.
Casino operators in Kenya have so far not responded to the government’s reluctance to renew their licenses.