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MPs Seek to Charge Entities 35% Tax on Betting Adverts to Discourage Promotion of Betting

February 3, 2020 | Government

NAIROBI, Kenya (January 30, 2020) – Local media report a House committee has backed proposals by gaming industry regulators to introduce a tax on betting adverts.

According to The Star media houses will pay to the Gaming Authority 35 per cent of their earnings from betting ads run on their radio, television and newspaper outlets.

Testimonials for bet winners, call-ins by FM stations and unsolicited SMSs asking people to take part in a game are targeted in the new push.

The tax shall be paid to the authority “not later than fourteen days of the expiry of the month in respect of which the tax is payable.

Those that violate the provision will be liable for prosecution and upon conviction fined Sh20 million or directors jailed for five years.

The Sports committee chaired by Machakos MP Victor Munyaka in its report on the Gaming Bill 2019 says the adverts have frustrated efforts to fight the negative effects of gambling.

The lawmakers are seeking to give the Gaming Authority – a statutory agency to be created under the new law – powers to prosecute the offences.

The new law further bars betting firms from parading people they purport to have won a bet in efforts to woo others.

Sections of the proposal state that a person shall not hold himself out by advertisement, promotion, notice or public placard with the aim of enticing members of the public to bet.

A person shall not display any written or printed placard or notice relating to a game of chance in any shape or form so as to be visible in a public place,” the Bill reads.

Media adverts will also have to include warnings that indicate the addictive nature of gambling.

They will be required to notify players to play responsibly, prohibit a child from playing, and not feature a former winner to entice members of the public to bet.

Adverts will also not be featured or broadcasted on television or radio between six o’clock in and 10 o’clock – unless during a live sporting event.

The proposed law further bars firms from putting up advertisement billboards near schools or in places frequented by children.

Media players will also be required to dedicate 10 per cent of aired advertisement towards the promotion of responsible gaming.

The law further proposes that media companies holding licenses on gaming shall not use any of their broadcast frequencies to advertise or promote their gaming product or activities.

MPs may also consider a Betting, Licensing, and Control Board (BLCB) proposal for a centralized control system to monitor activities live – including placed bets and winnings.

SOURCE: The Star.

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