CS Amina backs BBI proposal on betting reforms
- The proposal comes at a time when there have been protracted tussle between the government and some of the top private betting companies that has seen some shut down business in the country
- At the same time Amina has led Kenya’s quest to have a regional Sports Arbitration Centre to resolve sports disputes in Africa
Ministry of Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed has thrown her weight behind the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) proposal to have a government-run lottery.
The report launched Wednesday at the Bomas of Kenya proposes a raft of measures in the country’s sports betting industry.
According to the report, “the private sector is leading to hopelessness and greater poverty,” thus proposing, “the private betting industry to be replaced with a government-run national lottery whose proceeds are used for activities that uplift the youth, sports, culture and other social activities beneficial to citizens,” read part of the report.
Speaking Wednesday on the sidelines of the second annual lecture on Sports Arbitration, Amina backed the report saying it will help control the industry which is mostly associated with the youth.
“In support of sports I think it is a fantastic move. We have been very careful on who we allow in the country. It is important to note that we have a very young population and would not want anything that would distract them from achieving their potential. So, if it is one totally managed and controlled by government, then that is a welcome development,” she said.
The proposal comes following a protracted tussle between the government and betting firms in a fight that forced SportPesa and Betin – who controlled the larger share of the industry – into closing down business in the country.
At the same time Amina has led Kenya’s quest to have a regional Sports Arbitration Centre to resolve sports disputes in Africa.
“As you know Kenya is the leading sporting nation. We have taken sports seriously and we have put necessary infrastructure of arbitration. It is therefore our desire to facilitate the establishment of a regional platform here in Kenya through which Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) can achieve its noble objectives,” said Amina.
The event held at a Nairobi hotel was attended by CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb who hailed Kenya as undisputed sporting nation.
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Kenya branch chairman Samuel Nderitu said the institution is ready to work with the government in order to help avoid and resolve disputes.
The event was also attended by other sports stakeholders including Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei as well as current and former sportsmen.
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