Parliament Overturns Proposed Gambling Law Section Seeking to Ban Mobile Payments


The National Assembly Sports, Culture and Tourism committee reversed a section of the Gaming Bill 2019 that sought to block gamblers and betting companies from receiving cash or paying through mobile money.

Interesting enough, the legislators raised the minimum amount for an online gambling bet to Kshs 100 from the initial Kshs 50 cap. This is contained in Section 60 of the Bill. This was done to discourage gambling and to deter a licensee from allowing illegal gaming.

The legislators also proposed a ban of using credit cards to place bets which is quite interesting on its itself. “The amendment seeks to remove the use of credit cards to gamble or be and seeks to provide for other modes of payments which a player may use, that is mobile money transfer,” the report said. This is similar to a decision by the UK Gambling Commission this year.

The Gaming Act of 2019 seeked to introduce steep taxes, reduced online visibility and online visibility. It was introduced to police the betting industry which has seen massive growth over the last couple of years.

According to GeoPoll, 88% of gamblers in Kenya have used their phone to place bets and 55% of those are gambling on their phone once a week or more. Also according to the report, 83% bet on football the most