Just recently, the National Assembly’ Sports, Culture and Tourism Committee in Kenya amended the 2019 Gaming Bill in order to allow gambling operators including online casinos in Kenya to accept mobile payments from various mobile payment platforms. This was a long thing coming considering the country has over fifty-eight million subscribers using mobile money platforms.
The country’s National Assembly’s Sport, Culture, and Tourism Committee decided to revise one portion of the 2019 Gaming Bill according to which betting companies and online casino providers cannot accept transactions made using mobile payment options. As part of the new revision, Kenyan online casinos will finally be allowed to use various mobile payment options to fund their online casino accounts alongside other authorized payment options.
Mobile Casinos in Kenya.
Those looking for mobile casinos in Kenya will find the best options listed here. The latest revision of the Gaming Bill 2019 will allow mobile casinos Kenya to cater to more online gamers thanks to an expanded list of authorized payment means and the Kenyan iGaming industry that is already thriving will be generating bigger revenues. Further, we take a look at gambling laws and regulations in Kenya, the country’s mobile casinos, and new payment options which will soon be available to mobile gamblers.
Gambling Laws and Regulations in Kenya
The Eastern African country with a population of over forty-seven million people as estimated in 2019 was one of the very first African countries to legalize various forms of casino games and betting. Gambling activities in the country were legalized decades ago or more specifically back in 1966 thanks to the introduction of the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act which just recently has truly taken off.
All sorts of gambling activities in the country are regulated and overseen by the Government of Kenya through this primary legislation. Following the introduction of the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, the Betting, Control, and Licensing Board governmental agency was formed (BCLB). Today, the agency is responsible for regulating and overseeing all activities regarding gambling in the country. Some of its core responsibilities include:
.Issuing permits and licenses to iGaming operators
.Investigating permit and license holders
.Ensuring that gambling activities are conducted responsibly
.Ensuring equity, accountability, transparency, and integrity
.Investing and supervising gaming and betting activities
.Presiding over public lottery draws
.Conducting checks on gaming and betting operators
.Protecting the public against fraudulent activities
.Promoting responsible gaming practices
.Eradicating any kind of illegal betting and gambling
According to the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, Kenyan residents who are younger than eighteen are prohibited from engaging in gambling activities while the rest of the population can legally engage in such activities at mobile casinos, online casinos, and other gambling sites. In other words, casino gaming including table games, slot games, and others is legal alongside poker and bingo games, sports betting activities, fantasy betting, lotteries, social gaming without cash prizes, and skill games without chance elements.
All of these activities within the country’s borders are regulated and overseen by the Betting, Control, and Licensing Board. The main gambling regulatory agency in Kenya regulates as well as controls iGaming venues including mobile casinos, lotteries, and sports betting sites to protect the public and players against fraud. It eradicates illegal gambling sites and promotes various responsible gaming practices.
The agency is also responsible for inspecting and supervising gaming and betting activities and conducting regular checks on gaming operators to ensure that gaming activities are conducted responsibly, honestly, and competitively with the maximum contribution to the Kenyan society and economy.
Back in 2018, the agency was amended to take into account certain conditions (fit and proper criteria for casinos) such as qualification, financial status, experience, and education when checking their applicants for gambling licenses and permits.
The Kenyan New Gambling Act
Under the revised Gambling Bill 2019, casino gaming and sports betting activities remain legal in the country. The original Gambling Bill allowed Kenyan online casino gamers to use electronic bank transfers, credit, and debit cards, alongside several other authorized payment options. At the same time, the bill mobile payment options which was a rather controversial decision considering over USD 25 billion was made using digital payment services by Kenyan mobile users. At the time, most Kenyan online casinos accept:
•Visa and MasterCard
•Electronic bank transfers
When it comes to mobile casinos, they only accepted electronic bank transfers and credit and debit cards (Visa and MasterCard). Following the latest revision of the Gambling Bill 2019, mobile payment options will be added to the list of authorized payment means while credit cards will be removed. In addition to these changes regarding payment options casino gamers in Kenya can use, the revised bill brings a couple of other changes. The bill increased the minimum stake from KES50 allowed now to KES100. The bill also increased the maximum fine for illegal iGaming operators from KES1 million to KES 5 million.
Another clause was added to the bill and according to this clause, any individual found having documents or files related to any kind of illegal bookmaking can be fined for running illegal gambling operations. Initially, the Kenyan Parliament was supposed to debate the latest amendments on the 15th of October, but the debate was postponed for the 3rd of November. While the changes made to the bill ban using credit cards, gamers will have more mobile payment options to choose from.
More specifically, Kenyan casino gamers will be allowed to fund their online casino account using mobile money transfer services which brings greater convenience. When it comes to debit cards, it is yet unknown whether using debit cards will be banned alongside credit cards. Great Britain has also banned using credit cards to fund online casino accounts. The main issue with credit cards is a higher risk of gamers getting into debt. When using debit cards and other payment options, gamers need to have the funds to make deposits while with credit cards, they can use funds they actually do not have, and this is a huge problem for players who easily get carried away.
The Rise of Kenyan Mobile Casinos
Kenya is home to the third biggest gambling market on the continent with millions of active gamblers and many of these are mobile gamers who play their favorite games on the go via popular casino apps. In fact, the thriving Kenyan gambling industry has become one of the integral parts of the region’s financial wealth and economy and this does not come as a surprise considering over thirty licensed iGaming brands operate in the country offering sports betting and online sports betting activities.
The best mobile casino apps in Kenya enjoy an amazing reputation among gamers who prefer gaming on the go and the number of those who engage in mobile casino gaming activities has been on the rise in the past several years. In fact, mobile casino applications are the most popular iGaming medium. Around 88 per cent of Kenyan gamblers have used their smartphones to play online casino games and bet while over 50% of those enjoy mobile gaming activities at least once a week.
This makes casino apps or mobile casino gaming the most frequently and the most popular gambling method among Kenyan gamers. Thanks to the latest revision of the Gambling Bill 2019, mobile casinos in Kenya will soon start add mobile transfers to the list of their banking options while credit cards will not be accepted.
This will fuel the growth of the Kenyan mobile gaming market further. When compared to other thriving African iGaming markets, Kenya remains one of the leaders and it strives to take the leading position. Until the revised Gambling Bill is enforced, and mobile payment options are offered, Kenyan mobile gamblers have a variety of games to choose from and play on the go including hundreds of slots, video poker and poker games, keno, baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and craps among other games.
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