Nairobi introduces citywide gambling regulations

Nairobi introduces citywide gambling regulations

Nairobi is the largest Kenyan city as well as the country’s capital city. As estimated in 2019, Nairobi is home to over 4.3 million people while the Nairobi metropolitan area is home to over 9.3 million people. Known as the Green City in the Sun, the city was founded a long time ago back in 1899 by the British East Africa colonial authorities. Like all other big cities in Africa, Nairobi is a place of many different nationalities. Nairobi is also one of the most economically thriving African cities as well as a place of many natural wonders and one of these is the Nairobi National Park that even though is one of the smallest national parks of this kind in Africa is home to amazing wildlife. The capital city of Kenya is also a place with many spoken languages besides English such as Kamba, Swahili, Dholuo, and Kikuyu. As previously mentioned, the city was established back in 1899 and at the time, it was one of the major railway settlements in Africa. At the time, Nairobi was also the capital city of the British East Africa Protectorate. In the early 1900s, the city also became one of the major African trading centers following the establishment of an Indian bazaar in the city’s central area. This was the time when migrants from rural parts of the country came to the city. Nairobi was finally given a city status back in 1954 and it soon became the major Kenyan governmental center. The country finally gained independence back in 1963 and the city of Nairobi remained its capital. Today, the city is also the major Kenyan industrial center with the Nairobi railways employing the biggest portion of the city’s population. Many other industries are thriving in the city including tourism, food processing, and beverages. Since Nairobi is situated near Kenyan’s agricultural highlands, it is one of the major agricultural hubs in the country. All the most important airways, corporations, harbors, and railways are located in Nairobi. Tourists coming to Nairobi are stunned by its architectural landmarks such as the City Hall, Kenyatta International Conference Center, Jamia Mosque, Parliament Building, and Toman Catholic Cathedral. Home to numerous international businesses, companies, and organizations, Nairobi is a wonderful, prosperous place with great business opportunities for gambling companies as well. Gambling Laws in Kenya When compared to other African countries with thriving gambling industries, Kenya most certainly offers some of the best opportunities for iGaming operators. In Kenya, online casino gaming and sports betting activities are very popular entertainment forms. Various forms of gambling activities in Kenya are legal and have been legal and fully regulated since 1966. In fact, Kenya was one of the very first African countries to legalize all forms of gambling activities almost six decades ago. These activities were legalized within the country’s borders with the introduction of the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act and this is the same act that has been in force since the 1960s. While these activities were legalized a long time ago, they have just recently truly taken off with more international companies opening their online and land-based businesses not only in Nairobi but also in other Kenyan cities. Today, Kenya has a population of over 45 million people and when compared to other African countries, it has one of the most thriving economies. One industry that has been thriving is the Kenyan gambling industry. According to the main piece of legislation the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act, Kenyan residents who are at least eighteen years old can engage in gambling activities. The Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act regulates and monitors all forms of gambling activities in the country as well as:
  • Licenses and monitors all gambling and betting premises
  • Imposes betting and gambling taxes
  • Authorizes public lotteries
  • Imposes licensing fees
  • Imposes licensing restrictions
The main regulatory body that oversees and monitors all forms of gambling activities in Kenya is the Betting Control and Licensing Board that has been in force since 2011. In other words, the Betting Control and Licensing Board is responsible for monitoring and licensing all companies and operators that offer casino games including table games such as roulette and blackjack, and slots. The same regulatory agency is also responsible for monitoring poker and bingo games as well as all sports betting activities. Horse racing betting is regulated separately and the Betting Control and Licensing Board licenses and monitors iGaming operators that offer horse racing sports betting. When it comes to fantasy betting, these activities are also legal in Kenya and monitored by the same regulatory agency. Gambling establishments that offer lotteries and social gaming activities are also licensed and monitored by the Betting Control and Licensing Board. The best online casinos in Kenya like those listed here are all licensed and regulated by the Betting Control and Licensing Board which ensures you of their safety, reliability, and trustworthiness at all times. The best online casinos operational in Kenya are also very generous towards newcomers as their welcome bonuses frequently include huge match deposit bonuses alongside free spins. They also support a wide range of local payment services and of course, offer exciting mobile gaming sessions since Kenyan gamers prefer gaming on the move. According to the latest statistics, sports betting activities are by far the most popular iGaming form in Kenya. Today, Kenyan bettors can enjoy legal sports betting activities at almost thirty licensed sportsbooks and as estimated, their combined gross gaming revenues exceed US$2 billion. In terms of popularity, sports betting is closely followed by online casino gaming and online poker. The Kenyan land-based casino industry is also very active and quite established, and the country has over thirty land-based casinos situated in Nairobi and other big cities. Poker, roulette, and blackjack are the most popular table games while Kenyan casino gamers are also huge fans of slots. The biggest Kenyan land-based casinos including the Captain’s Club, Golden Key Casino, Mayfair Casino, Casino Flamingo, and Senator Casino boast rich gaming selections of over one thousand and three hundred slots and over two hundred table games. Traditionally, the Kenyan gambling industry was mainly focused on land-based gambling establishments but in the last several years, there has been a major shift to digital gambling venues. Online Gaming Activities in Kenya What sets Nairobi and Kenya apart from other African cities and countries is most certainly technology. Unlike many other African countries, Kenya’s internet penetration rate is quite high. As estimated in 2021, the country’s internet penetration rate stood at 40% which is quite impressive for an African country so there are over 21 million active internet users in the country and many of these are avid online casino gamers. A vast majority of Kenyan internet users access the Internet on their mobile devices. Needless to say, this major digitalization in the country boosted the online gambling industry and more and more Kenyan gamers turn to online sites to enjoy gambling activities. With over 88% of all Kenyan gamblers accessing online gambling sites via their mobile devices, the popularity of mobile casinos has been on the rise especially in Nairobi so there is no wonder why the city introduced new gambling regulations that will further boost the growth of this sector. Nairobi’s Latest Citywide Gaming Regulations In June this year, a completely new ratified Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act was approved by the Nairobi City County Assembly. According to this new bill, another regulatory gaming body will be introduced alongside higher licensing fees for all gambling operators in the Kenyan capital city. The newly ratified Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act was introduced by the City Council Assembly and it came into force on the 6th of May this year in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The Act implements new rules and regulations for all gambling operators, and it imposes a higher 10% tax on all gross proceeds of all gambling operators. The Act also introduced higher taxes and licensing fees as following: License grant fees of KSh600,000; License renewal fees of KSh10,000; License grant fees for casinos of KSh1,500,000; License renewal fees for casinos of KSh10,000; License fees for public lotteries of KSh4,000,000; Renewal and application fees for lotteries of KSh1,000,000 According to the new ratified bill, every company that wants to enter the Kenyan gambling industry whether it be an online casino, or any other gambling establishment must invest KSh600,000 to be granted the required license to operate legally. These gambling establishments also need to invest KSh10,000 for the renewal of their licenses. Grant fees of KSh1,500,000 are imposed for all casino and gaming premises alongside a fee of KSh10,000 for renewing licenses. Public lotteries are not excluded and all gambling establishments that operate lotteries need to invest KSh4,000,000 to be granted the required licenses and KSh1,000,000 every year to renew their licenses. All license applications will be checked by the Nairobi City County Assembly and its director as outlined in the new ratified Act.

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