Sports betting ads should air off-watershed – Film Board

April 19, 2016
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Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua said gambling like drinking is a vice and they therefore had a responsibility to limit the exposure of vulnerable minds to their "glamourisation" by restricting their on-air promotion to times outside the 5am to 10pm watershed/FILE
Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua said gambling like drinking is a vice and they therefore had a responsibility to limit the exposure of vulnerable minds to their “glamourisation” by restricting their on-air promotion to times outside the 5am to 10pm watershed/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19 – In an effort to rein in the mobile sports betting craze that has gripped the country, the moral policing Kenya Film Classification Board on Tuesday said the same rules that regulate the advertising of alcoholic beverages would apply to those promoting gambling.

Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua said gambling like drinking is a vice and they therefore had a responsibility to limit the exposure of vulnerable minds to their “glamourisation” by restricting their on-air promotion to times outside the 5am to 10pm watershed.

“The likelihood of misleading the youth and children to think that you can get rich quick, you can use shortcuts, you just bet one day and you know, you’re there (is high),” Mutua said.

He said the ads already airing however – having been cleared by the Board – would be allowed to retain their time slots for the contractual period agreed on with broadcasters.

Government sponsored lotteries are exempt and free to advertise between the hours of 5am and 10pm but the off-watershed regulation applies to product promotions that encourage you to subscribe as many times as possible for a chance to win either a house, car or trip abroad. “As long as you’re getting a betting and control number.”

In January Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery appointed Anthony Kimani Kung’u as the Betting Control and Licensing Board Chairman at a time when Kenya is witnessing an explosion in the mobile phone sports betting arena with firms such as Betin, Betyetu, Betway, SportPesa and mCheza entering the market.

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