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Why Nkaissery has ordered betting firms to deposit evidence of jackpot cash

Lottery companies will have to deposit all monies they promise in form of jackpots in a fixed deposit account with a reputable bank and offer proof the same, the Government has announced.

The directive is part of new stringent measures aimed at boosting transparency of the betting industry and safeguarding consumers against firms which may not readily have the cash.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said on Friday it will also be mandatory for betting companies to conduct their draws in public.

“We have made it a requirement that all monies promised in form of jackpots have to be deposited in a fixed deposit account with a reputable bank and evidence of the same forwarded to the Betting Control and Licensing Board for record,” said Mr Nkaissery in a letter to all lottery operators.

FAIR AND HONEST

According to Mr Nkaissery, the requirement to have lottery operators conduct draws in an open and transparent manner is aimed at ensuring that they are fair, random and honest.

“To this end draws should ideally be done in public either by use of a ball machine or an electronic draw machine using a random number generator. Each draw should be conducted under the constant vigilance of a representative from the board, external auditors and officials of the lottery operator,” said the Interior boss.

Betting Control and Licensing Board chairman Anthony Kimani Kung’u said the agency would enforce the rules immediately.

“The import of the new rules is to ensure fairness and integrity of the industry given the interest this industry is generating,” Mr Kung’u told the Nation after meeting betting industry stakeholders.

Mr Kung’u said while some operators have been running lotteries for jackpots of up to Sh100 million many have not been depositing the amount as proof of being ready to pay out before the draws.

A lottery is a form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize.

SH7 BILLION PER MONTH

Projections are that gross gambling revenue in Kenya stands at Sh7 billion monthly and about Sh100 billion yearly according to the betting agency.

Betting firms represented at the meeting include Kenya Charity Sweepstake, Shinda Washinde, Jamii Lotto, Oxygen 8, Q-One and Pambazuka.

There are also SMS lotteries offered by mobile telecommunication companies and online gambling sites.
Mr Nkaissery said the new measures would ensure that the general public is safeguarded given the interest the industry has generated.

The betting industry has in recent times witnessed a surge in popularity amid aggressive marketing campaigns by the betting firms.

As part of the new rules, operators will also be required to advise their customers on responsible gaming in their advertising.