After last month introducing legislation that would dramatically revamp the Kenyan land-based and online gambling industries, Orange Democratic Movement representative Jakoyo Midiwo has reportedly reacted angrily to the government stepping in to propose a similar measure of its own.
According to a report from the local Daily Nation newspaper, Midiwo represents the Gem constituency in the country’s National Assembly and proposed the Betting, Lotteries And Gaming (Amendment) Bill in January that would require all online gambling firms in the African nation to be fully owned by Kenyan citizens while imposing severe restrictions on marketing. The suggested legislation would also reintroduce a tax on winnings, place limits on the amount of money that can be wagered and restrict anyone under the age of 25 from gambling.
However, last week saw Joseph Nkaissery, Internal Security And Coordination Of National Government Secretary for Kenya, initiate legislation from the government concerning the same issues and a battle is reportedly now brewing as each side attempts to have its proposals officially adopted by National Assembly and Senate lawmakers.
The Daily Nation reported that Midiwo declared that he is not prepared to support the government-led legislation and will only allow it to enrich his proposal rather than the other way around.
“[Ours] is an [Orange Democratic Movement-sponsored] bill and there is no way the government will be allowed to sneak in its bill and take over our initiative,” Midiwo told the Daily Nation.
Midiwo’s proposed legislation would moreover reportedly ban telecommunications providers in Kenya from doing business with sportsbetting operators as these would be required to create their own bespoke platforms.
The gambling industry is Kenya is reportedly worth millions of dollars every year and Midiwo’s Betting, Lotteries And Gaming (Amendment) Bill is currently being scrutinized in a committee led by Orange Democratic Movement representative David Were where it will be soon be subjected to stakeholder involvement.