Betting is a big thing in Kenya, and while some betting companies have seen their operation clipped by not following through with existing laws and regulations, those that have abided by existing legal frameworks have been thriving.
To note, online betting platforms are facilitated through online portals, USSD codes, shortcodes, and pay bill numbers that are processed through mobile money wallets. The services are offered by telcos, which are, in turn, licensed by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
It should be remembered that at the moment, the Betting Control and Licensing Board, also known as BCLB, is, at the moment, renewing licenses for betting firms, including those that provide lotteries and gaming companies.
Now, this is where the CA comes in too: the Authority is tasked to ensure that the said services are aligned with regulatory frameworks. Telcos have also been directed to issue the said services (pay bill numbers, et al) to betting companies that have only been licensed by the BCLB.
This also means that betting firms that need to offer their services in collaboration with the said additional services offered by the mobile operators must be licensed by the BCLB.
Now, the CA, through its Chief Mr. Ezra Chiloba, is directing telcos to immediately discontinue the issuance of licensed ICT platforms and services to betting companies that have not renewed licenses for the 2022.23 FY.
“Additionally, the MNOs shall be required to provide returns to the BCLB and the Authority detailing numbering resources (USSDs, shortcodes, and Pay Bill numbers) allocated to licensed betting and gambling service providers on a monthly basis,” says Chiloba.