New Bill Seeks to Restrict Daytime Gambling in Kenya

Take a look at Kenya's current gambling regulations that make the country's iGaming scene one of the fastest-growing and most profitable in the African continent

  • As of today, internationally-renowned online casinos that are holders of valid remote gaming licenses issued by local authorities can serve Kenyan players.
  • When you feel your gambling has gone out of control, you can temporarily exclude yourself from gambling if you need that will help you get back on the right track.

Gambling in most African countries is not allowed. When it comes to its history in Africa, it is still unsure which country introduced the very first gambling laws and regulations.

In most Northern African countries, gambling is still forbidden, and this does not come as a surprise as these are Islamic countries. African countries such as Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa have always been more open and friendly towards all of its forms.

For instance, the Ghanaian legislators passed the Lotteries and Betting Act back in 1960 and legalized certain forms of gambling. Thirteen years later, the country's legislators passed the Gambling Machines Act and the Casino Licensing Act shortly after.

Both these legislators from 1973 were enforced in order to strengthen the country's gambling industry.

In addition, both laws introduced safer gambling options to Ghanaian players. When it comes to laws and legislations in Kenya, Kenyan gamblers benefited from a rather similar approach.

Today, the country has over ten fully licensed land-based casinos and quite a few iGaming venues.

For several years now, the country's gambling industry has been thriving thanks to friendly laws and regulations that allow foreign companies to operate in the country if they are licensed.

However, the country's gambling environment may change drastically. 

More specifically, the country's legislators are determined to restrict daytime gambling in Kenya by enforcing a new bill.

As expected, this new bill will significantly impact the overall Kenyan iGaming industry.  

New Regulation's Potential Affect Over Online Casinos?

As revealed several months back, Kenyan legislators seem determined to introduce stricter online gambling regulations, and these would negatively affect the growth of the Kenyan iGaming scene.

As of today, internationally-renowned online casinos that are holders of valid remote gaming licenses issued by local authorities can serve Kenyan players.

As explained in detail at, renowned online casinos in Kenya operating today have certain things in common.

While their gaming libraries and selections of bonuses are different, all of them hold remote gaming licenses issued by reputable iGaming regulatory bodies.

When an online casino has a license issued by a respected online gambling regulator, it means it operates according to very strict rules and legislation.

They must employ advanced privacy and security measures, guarantee the safety of everyone involved and guarantee the safety of everyone's funds.

These fully licensed online casinos must also promote fair and responsible gambling. The best Kenyan casino sites offer time, deposit, and other limits that let you take care of your budget.

When you feel your gambling has gone out of control, you can temporarily exclude yourself from gambling if you need that will help you get back on the right track.

There are some other things that reputable online casinos have in common. They have rich gaming selections with hundreds of games brought to you by prominent online casino content developers.

They feature quite a few bonuses and promotions suitable for everyone, regardless of their budget.

With mobile casinos being very popular in recent years, the best Kenyan online casinos are always available on the go.

Speaking of mobile gambling among Kenyan players, GeoPoll's report on the Kenyan gambling scene suggests that over 80% of the country's gamblers place real money wagers using their mobile devices.

Nairobi County Assembly Proposed Daytime Gambling Restrictions

For several years now, the country's online gambling scene has been thriving, but this may change in the near future if new restrictions come into place. As previously mentioned, the proposed new gambling bill aims to restrict daytime play in the country.

In 2021, the Nairobi County Assembly introduced the amended the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Bill. The new bill is sponsored by the Nairobi County Assembly and Esther Waithera Chege.

By all accounts, Waithera Chege is determined to restrict gambling in Kenya between 06:00 am and 08:00 pm to protect working hours.

Commenting on the proposed changes and restrictions, Waithera Chege said that some changes must be made if they want to secure a better future for all Kenyans.

After observing the country's gambling and betting operations for quite a while, Chege believes that the only way to protect the public from the potential negative impact of gambling is by introducing restrictions on daytime gambling.

In the same official report, Chege said that the Nairobi County Assembly proposes to limit gambling establishments' operating hours.

According to the Nairobi County Assembly and Waithera Chege, the Board responsible for governing the country's online gambling industry must protect daily productive hours among Kenyans.

Waithera Chege also said that many young adults in Kenya waste their time engaging in casino activities instead of being more productive.

According to her official report, many young adults are also addicted to gambling and invest a lot of time and money in online gambling at various sites that as of now can operate without any limitations regarding their working hours.

In addition to protecting all Kenyan citizens from the potential negative impact of gambling on their wellbeing, another purpose of the new bill is to restrict mobile gambling and ban gambling-related advertising within the close vicinity of gaming and betting locations.

To back up her claims, she shared the information collected by GeoPoll in its report from March 2017.

According to the report, young gamblers residing in Kenya spent an average of over$50 on gambling, more than any other millennials residing in the sub-Saharan region.

The Legality of Online Gambling in Kenya – Gambling Laws and Regulations?

This leads us to the current iGaming laws and regulations enforced in Kenya. As of today, the main gambling law in Kenya is the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act which has been enforced since 1966.

The new act was enforced to capitalize on the growing interest of Kenyans in gambling. In other words, the act legalized most gambling forms within the country's borders. The Betting Control and Licensing Board was also established under the act.

The Board grants remote gambling licenses, monitors all forms of gambling activities, promotes responsible gambling, and makes sure that every iGaming operator serving Kenyans operates according to the main gambling regulation.

However, back in the day when the Betting, Lotteries, and Gambling Act was enforced, online casinos have not existed. Consequently, the act does not mention anything about online gambling.

When it comes to the beginnings of the iGaming scene in Kenya, the very first online gambling site opened its doors in 2011. SportPesa emerged on the scene two years later after being licensed by the Board.

For quite a while, SportPesa was the only legal online gambling site operating in the country. Later, international companies emerged on the scene after being allowed to operate in the country if they obtain necessary licenses from the Betting Control and Licensing Board.

In 2010, Kenyan legislators introduced some changes after enacting gambling regulations. However, these mostly affected the Kenyan land-based gambling industry.

Then, in 2019 Kenyan legislators passed the Data Protection Act to make sure all online gambling operators employ the right measures to protect players' private info. Finally, in 2019 Kenyan legislators introduced the very first laws and regulations concerning online gambling.  

According to the latest iGaming regulations, all gambling operators that want to operate in the country must list all of their games, provide detailed info on their servers and provide detailed info on their banking services.

In 2020, legislators in Kenya proposed new gambling laws and regulations. More specifically, the new law maintained a high 20% tax on all jackpot winnings and proposed a higher 35% fixed tax rate for all gaming adverts.

The new law also proposed higher fees for obtaining gambling licenses for both land-based and online gambling venues. Since 2020 when the new law was proposed, no further actions have been taken by Kenyan legislators.