Forum on responsible betting, consumer rights and self-regulation set for March 5

Kenya’s betting and gaming industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with the sector contributing significantly to the country’s economy.

Some of the economic benefits associated with sports betting and gaming in Kenya include increased tax revenue to the government, which is used to fund development projects and employment creation for thousands of Kenyans, both directly and indirectly

Other economic benefits include increased investments in sports and related industries and stimulated growth in the telecommunications, advertising and financial sectors among others.

Social benefits

In terms of social benefits, the industry has had a significant impact on society, especially for individuals and groups that enjoy sports betting and gaming. Encouraging fans engagement with sports by increasing interest and knowledge of sporting events as well as providing an avenue for social interaction and community development through various platforms such as online forums and sports bars.

There is no gain-saying but betting and gambling has empowered individuals with limited financial resources to generate income and opt out of potential crime to make ends meet. Again, key firms have continued to support charities, sports and community development programs.Political Benefits


While the benefits of sports betting and gaming to the Kenyan economy, society and politics undoubtedly exist, there are still some challenges the industry faces. These include but are not limited to the fact that gambling is a popular activity enjoyed by people all around the world.

One of the main concerns regarding gambling is consumer rights. Customers must be protected from fraudulent or unfair practices by gambling providers. Daily, we get reports of some betting firms that operate without transparency and or engage in deceptive advertising and communication.

Indeed consumers have the right to be informed about the risks associated with gambling, as well as the odds of winning. This information must be presented in a clear and concise manner to ensure that customers are well-informed before making any decisions.

Cautionary warning labels on the packets of cigarettes have never deterred tobacco consumers from enjoying their stuff. The issue of addiction is critical. Investing in IEC (Information, Education and Communication) campaigns on responsible gambling should be the second names of betting firms which respect themselves.


While some gambling providers do self-regulate, there is a need for more regulation to protect consumers from harm. It is important for governments to set guidelines and standards for the gambling industry, as well as ensuring that gambling operators comply with them.

On this, we are aware of the Gaming Bill, which in our considered view requires some form of overhaul especially in terms of self-policing, responsible gambling and consumer rights as per Article 46 of the Constitution of Kenya.

Again, self-exclusion services should be available for customers who feel that their gambling has become problematic. These services should be easily accessible, straightforward to use, and be tailored to individual requirements.

Gambling remains a popular leisure activity that must be better regulated to ensure that consumers are protected. Consumer rights must be protected, and gambling providers must be held accountable for fraudulent or unfair practices.

Self-regulation is not enough, and governments must take an active role in regulating the industry to safeguard the well-being of customers. Consumer-centered regulation will go a long way in enhancing broad ownership of the business as viewed against public interest.

Regulatory agencies

In our view, various regulatory agencies on gamblimg must also ensure that gambling advertising is not misleading or targeted at vulnerable populations. Advertising should be truthful, transparent, and not promote unrealistic expectations of winning.

Additionally, there should be restrictions on the placement and timing of gambling advertisements to prevent them from being too intrusive or tempting for those who may be struggling with addiction. There is need to ensure that some platforms are totally no-go zones.

Gambling addiction

Another issue related to gambling is the impact it can have on society as a whole. Gambling addiction can lead to financial ruin, family breakdowns, and even mental health issues.

Accordingly, the government agencies will need to invest in education, counselling and treatment programs for those who are affected by problem gambling. These programs should be easily accessible and provide support for individuals and their families.

Cofek is ready and willing to partner with various players to ensure that such facilities are available physically, school clubs and through an integrated online portal among other measures.

Needless to mention and while gambling can be an enjoyable activity for some, it is important to recognize the potential harms associated with it.

Government agencies such as Betting Control & Licensing Board (BCLB), Kenya Films Classification Board, Communications Authority and the Office ofData Protection Commissioner must take an active role in regulating the industry to protect consumers from fraudulent practices and ensure that self-exclusion services are readily available.

Cofek forum

But beyond this, we need to grow aspects of self-regulation. Cofek is keen to commence the Annual Excellence Awards for Gambling Awards in order to recognize and reward those firms – large, medium and small – on various activities of responsible gambling.

Are you a stakeholder? We have limited spaces. Want to attend? Kindly express interest; Mr Eric Theuri, the President, Law Society of Kenya (LSK). He will give a keynote speech on “How Betting and Gaming Industry Can Enhance Self-Regulation While Upholding Consumer Rights”

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