High Court suspends ban on gambling adverts


High Court suspends ban on gambling adverts

In Summary

  • The orders were issued by Justice James Makau on Monday following a petition against the ban - which was set to take effect on May 30, 2019 – by Murugi Kamau Wanjohi.
  • Mr. Kamau argued that he earns a living through endorsement of products and services due to his influence and celebrity status.

The High Court has temporarily suspended the implementation of a ban by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) on gambling advertisements as well as endorsement by celebrities.

The orders were issued by Justice James Makau on Monday following a petition against the ban which was set to take effect on May 30, 2019

The petitioner, Murugi Kamau Wanjohi, in court papers seen by Citizen Digital, argued that he earns a living through endorsement of products and services due to his influence and celebrity status.

According to the petitioner, who is also a musician going by the stage name MC Moreydoc, the decision was not subjected to public participation and that the board would be discriminating anyone it labels a celebrity due to their social status.

The betting and licensing board, in a statement issued on April 30, banned all outdoor, media and social media gambling adverts, further barring betting firms from using celebrities to endorse their operations.

The board cited potential harm to the consumer with a possibility of leading to addiction as reason for the ban.

” … gaming is a demerit good and all demerit goods have the potential to harm to the consumer with a possibility of leading to addiction as well as some disorder. This board therefore a regulator has a duty to present its customer, members of the public, the young and the vulnerable,” read the statement.

The board also directed that all gambling advertisements must seek approval and contain a warning message of the consequences of engaging in gambling.

” …such an advertisement must contain a warning message about the consequences of  gambling including its addictiveness, and that the warning message must constitute a third of the actual advertisement and be of the same font,” added the statement.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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