Kenyan Media Could Face Staggering Sh 14 Bn Loss Following Suspension of Betting Firms

By  |  July 19, 2019

The media industry may be set for staggering losses following the suspension of betting firms, a new report shows.

The survey jointly carried out by Ipsos and GeoPoll reveals that the media is looking at an Sh14 billion loss in advertising revenue, representing 10 percent of the media’s advertisement earnings.

“As a result of the suspension, media stations airing major football tournaments could expect to reach close to 20 percent fewer audiences, than originally planned,” apart of the report dubbed ‘Unpacking Betting in Kenya’ read.

The Betting Control and Licencing Board contend that gambling has the potential to inflict mental and financial harm on a person endowed with the constant need to gamble.

Online sports betting has gained quick popularity and has for a while created a booming with betting firms being established left, right, and center to cater to the flourishing market.

But an end seems to be looming for the once burgeoning industry. After six months of push and pull between the government and betting firms, the government ordered telcos to shut down paybill numbers and shortcodes of 27 betting firms.

The move was seen as an attempt to shut down the betting business, which entirely depends on mobile money transactions since gamblers load money into virtual wallets to place bets.

Earlier, Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i highlighted that youths were being plunged into huge debts further noting that lenders have blacklisted half a million of them because of borrowing loans to place bets.

His utterance drew the attention of various industry players as soon after a crackdown was launched that saw NCLB banning advertisements that encourage gambling. The clampdown also saw the deportation of 17 foreign officials of betting firms.

Information revealed earlier stated that the treasury is likely to lose over Sh15 billion in tax revenue annually if the government carries on with the shutdown of betting firms.

The issued has spurred discussions with thought leaders arguing that the vice does not need urgent eradication, adding that it should be regulated instead.

Featured Image Courtesy: Quartz

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