The Chairman of the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), Cyrus Maina, has informed Safaricom and Airtel that only three betting companies are currently licensed to operate.
This could be in response to Communication Authority of Kenya Director General Ezra Chiloba’s direction on Saturday that the operators stop issuing licensed ICT platforms and services to unlicensed gambling and betting enterprises, including Paybills and USSDs.
According to a new report by the Betting Control and Licensing Board, applicants for new and renewal licenses in the country have been unable to comply with an order requiring them to be validated by a number of regulatory bodies. As a result, their license applications and renewals have been denied.
Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i urged the BCLB in May to guarantee that all betting operators requesting for new or renewal licenses had clearance from the Kenya Revenue Authority, Financial Reporting Centre, Inter-Agency Security Team, and the country’s Communications Authority.
This is the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) Cyrus Maina’s letter in full;
The Board hereby notifies you that only the following gaming operators have been found to be compliant with the The Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act as well as the operating requirements issued by the Board as at 1. July, 2022 and therefore, their 2022/2023 financial year licenses have been renewed;
- Shop and Deliver Limited t/a Betika
- Pesa Bets Limited t/a Betafrique
- Silicon Solutions Limited t/a Spotika
Please be informed accordingly and take necessary action.
The BCLB also stated that it has informed all of the affected operators that their applications may be evaluated if resubmitted after all conditions have been completed.
Along with the license application assessment, Matiang’i’s May statement called for a crackdown on unlicensed gaming, demanding that the BCLB compile a list of unlicensed sites for the Communications Authority to prohibit.
In March, the number of betting organizations registered to operate in Kenya surpassed 100, defying a government aim to restrict gambling by levying higher taxes on both companies and punters.