Kenya Revenue Authority Clears Suspended Licences

August 19, 2022
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​​​​​​​A total of 105 gambling companies in Kenya have cleared a major hurdle in receiving their licence or having it renewed.

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A total of 105 gambling companies in Kenya have cleared a major hurdle in receiving their licence or having it renewed.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) confirmed to VIXIO GamblingCompliance it had given the go-ahead to a large cohort, but said operators also need to receive “clearance for licensing by Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB)”, as well as “approval by a Multi-Agency Committee of which Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is a part of”.

Operators are legally required to also receive approval from the Financial Reporting Centre, the communication authority and the Interagency security team.

“Clearance is given upon full compliance with the laid down requirements. Only BCLB is in a position to give an updated list of the licenced firms. As per BCLB report in the last financial year, there were 117 licensed Betting & Gaming operators,” the KRA said.

The 105 firms received their KRA clearance between July 1 and August 5, 2022.

In May 2022, interior secretary Fred Matiangi called on the BCLB, which is a department under the Ministry of Interior, to investigate whether existing licensees had received all their required clearances.

Following Matiangi’s demand, the BCLB reported in June that the majority of licensees were not cleared by the other government agencies, leading to many of the 2022/2023 operating licence renewal applications not being approved by their deadline, as well as a number of new applications being rejected.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) then also issued a directive to mobile network operators on July 1, demanding they cease services to gambling operators until they receive authorisation from the BCLB.

Elsewhere in Kenya, the country’s general election results have finally come through, after voting on August 9, but uncertainty over the country’s political future remains.

In the race for President, current deputy William Ruto won a very tightly contested race, receiving 50.5 percent of the vote, compared with 48.8 percent received by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

However, Odinga, who challenged the 2017 presidential race results and won, called the election “null and void”, promising to pursue legal action to challenge the result.

Outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta has stated since 2019 that he would support a gambling ban.

It is unclear what policies the two candidates would pursue toward the gambling industry; however, Odinga has been viewed in the past as likely to be more favourable to betting firms compared with the current administration.

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