Betting will only be restricted to 4 hours in Nairobi if a legislative proposal before the Assembly goes through.
A proposal by Nairobi South MCA Waithera Chege currently before Nairobi County Assembly wants all betting avenues in the residential areas removed and the operating hours of Casinos and Gaming venues revised.
Among the changes in the Bill, include the provision to block betting companies from operating during the working hours and disabling the ability to use mobile phones for gaming.
Currently the Betting County act regulates the operations of these betting firms in Nairobi including the licensing.
“Something needs to be done to curtail the hours spent in the Casinos. With the passing of this proposal to amend the county Betting Act. 2021. We seek to further regulate this sector and not to totally do away with Betting and Gaming,” said Waithera.
According to Waithera the proposal is to ensure that the County and National Licensing Board limit the operating hours of these establishments so as to help keep productive hours among the citizenry and avoid wastage of time by some of the youth who are sadly now addicted to gambling
“People especially the youth are spending a lot of time gambling. If we want to secure the future of our youth then we have to curtail the hours,” said Waithera.
The proposal also seeks to regulate mobile betting and have cashless transactions for Betting within the County in a bid to reduce the amounts and time spent in this establishments.
She also urged that the apps should be removed and the paybill of the Companies made active after working hours.
Acknowledging that it contributes to the revenue of the county, she urged the hours be limited to 5 Pm in the evening to 8 PM.
“A lot of time is wasted in the Casinos and others even end up Committing suicide after they lose their stake. Casinos should just be in the big hotels only and their numbers even reduced,” said James Macharia Kiragu, Member of County Assembly for Umoja .
The National government and Nairobi City County earlier on passed a legislation to regulate this sector which is an inevitable source of livelihoods.
She says that a research that was done before championing of the Bill shows many countries have strict regulations on gambling.
In China, the citizens are banned from betting and it’s only foreigners who do it. In Russia, inland betting is totally banned with those interested in doing it doing on air.
Speaking on the funding to different sporting actives and clubs, she said that the clubs lose more than what the firm’s gain.