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International Comparative Legal Guide – Gambling 2021 Kenya Chapter

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The uptake in betting and gambling facilities has put a spotlight on the legal mechanism put in place to ensure the industry runs fairly and beneficially to the individual and society as a whole. Our Dispute Resolution team with Managing Partner and Co-Head of the team, John Ohaga and Associate Michelle Koske have contributed to the ICLG Guide on Gambling laws and regulations 2021 giving an in-depth analysis of the laws, regulations, authorities licencing procedures and governance of said services on digital media platforms. 

The complete guide is accessible at https://iclg.com/practice-areas/gambling-laws-and-regulations/kenya with a snippet available below.

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 under the Fourth Schedule distributed the functions of betting, casinos and other forms of gambling to the National and County Governments. There were transition challenges encountered in the initial period of devolution due to the concurrent nature of the functions, hence the Transition Authority established the Inter-Agency Technical Committee to analyse the emerging challenges and provide a comprehensive report and way forward for implementing the betting, casinos and other forms of gambling functions. After consultations with various stakeholders, the Inter-Agency Technical Committee unbundled the functions assigned to both levels of Government and published a report which had consensually assigned various functions to the Governments.

Therefore, the County Governments can enact an Act in relation to the Relevant Products within the ambit of the delineated functions as provided in Gazette Notice No. 8753. Further, the Betting, Control and Licensing Board (‘BCLB’) established under the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, 1966 (‘the Act’) has jurisdiction within the County Governments as the national legislation applies uniformly throughout the Republic of Kenya. Hence, the Act and the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Regulations, 1966 (‘the Regulations’) nationally regulate the Relevant Products in Kenya. The Act provides for the control and licensing of betting and gaming premises, the imposition and recovery of tax on betting and gaming and for the authorisation of public lotteries in Kenya.

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