Kenya High Court Says Ban On Gambling Adverts Illegal

Kenya High Court Says Ban On Gambling Adverts Illegal

The High Court in Kenya has quashed the ban on outdoor gambling adverts. The decision comes after the high court temporarily suspended the ban on gambling adverts last week following a lawsuit filed by Murigi Wanjohi, a musician who challenged the new regulation which deemed illegal celebrity endorsement of gambling-related products or services including their participation in gambling-related advert.

Following a hearing on Tuesday, Justice Mativo, ruled that the new regulations that were brought in by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), earlier this month, were not according to the constitutional provisions – therefore unconstitutional.

Earlier this month, the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), had brought in a series of measures to restrict gambling adverts including a ban on outdoor gambling ads, banning celebrity endorsement of gambling products and services and also their presence in gambling ads, and also requiring all gambling advert aired on television or radio to be first approved by the gambling regulator.

The gambling operators and all those who were to be affected by the new regulations were asked to ensure that their operations comply with the new set of rules by May 30, 2019.

However, earlier last week, Justice James Makau suspended the ban on gambling adverts as directed by the gambling authority. The decision came after a celebrity musician, Murigi Wanjohi, took the gambling authority to court contesting that it was his livelihood which was at stake and as such depriving him of his livelihood would be unconstitutional.

Recently the Kenya Government also deported 17 overseas casino executives working illegally in the country. The government said that the step has been taken to minimize the drain of gambling revenues.

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