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Bad news for Joey Muthengi, Mariga as govt ends their Betin contracts

The government has released a set of rules to govern the betting industries that will among other things bar local celebrities McDonald Mariga, Joey Muthengi, Janet Wanja, and Carol Radull from appearing in gaming related adverts.

The rules, published Tuesday by the Interior Ministry and Betting Licensing and Control Board, have also banned outdoor advertising of gambling, advertising of gambling on all social media platforms and advertising of gambling activities on television and radio between 6am and 10pm.

Further, any form of advertisement of gambling must be approved by betting board and must contain a message about the consequences of gambling.

The warning must constitute a third of the actual advertisement.

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Acting director of betting board Liti Wambua has told betting and lottery firms to adhere to the new rules by May 30.

“We wish to remind you that gaming is a demerit good and all demerit goods have the potential to harm the customer with the possibility of leading to addiction as well as some disorder,” Ms Wambua said in her letter.

The development comes barely a month after Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i ordered the Betting Control and Licensing Board to ensure that betting firms are in compliance with the rules.

“To show that we are serious, all betting licenses in the country stand suspended effective July 1, 2019 unless the holders pay all their taxes,” said Matiang’i at the time.

He decried the betting craze in the country especially among youth.

Footballer Mariga, a UEFA Champions League winner and ex-international, TV stars Joey Muthengi and Radull are among the celebrities who enjoy multi-million shilling endorsement deals with Kenyan based betting companies.