Deputy Director of Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), Mr Fredrick Mbasi, offers his two cents on the challenges and opportunities for Kenya’s gaming sector.
During SiGMA Africa’s conference one of our panellists described Kenya’s regulation as ‘harsh’. Do you agree? How do you strike a balance in ensuring the industry maintains its integrity, without compromising your obligations to the public.
Kenya is well known as a leader in the gaming sector for this region. So that opinion towards the regulator is rather harsh in my opinion, because we are welcoming and very fair to the regulators. Of course, they invest money and the government expects to benefit from it, either from taxes or from employment creation.
When dealing with the issues arising with the stakeholders, we help them where we can and allow them to present their views and their challenges to the regulator.
In a keynote at the SiGMA Africa conference, Dr Jane Makau said that The Betting and Licensing Board will continue to play a role in creating and enabling an environment for investment. What do the next steps in the country’s journey towards the regulation of online betting companies look like?
Our mission is to be a world class gaming regulatory agency, not only in Africa, but the world.
To ensure gambling is conducted honestly, responsibly, competitively, with minimal costs and maximum contribution to society.
Kenya, in my opinion, benefits from the ease of doing business in the region, and I think we are going to become a hub for online gaming, in East and Central Africa of course.
We have been leading in introducing online gaming – which has overtaken the brick and mortar sector. As you are aware, we have a bill, which is currently under review in parliament, and we are introducing new gaming licences so that we can look forward to engaging with the stakeholders and moving towards online gaming.
Kenya has become known as a hub for investment in the region – what benefits can it offer businesses, new and old?
It’s a huge market in Kenya and maybe even in the region. Any company which is compliant with the regulation will, I believe, reap the benefits.
Could the adoption of blockchain technology help develop a stronger regulatory environment – ensuring security, integrity and fairness for players?
Blockchain technology is on the horizon and used across many different industries. There’s no reason why it should not be used in this country for purposes of integrity and maybe even payment of taxes. We are looking forward to the authorisation and regulation of this kind of technology, particularly within the gaming industry.
SiGMA Africa will be returning to Nairobi in early 2024, for more incredibly insightful takes on the solutions to all the challenges previously mentioned as and more as well as a wealth of premium networking opportunities it promises to be a simply unmissable experience.