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Court comes to the aid of betting celebs as Government cracks down on foreigners running illegal betting firms

Reprieve for celebrities such as Mariga and Joey Muthengi as the ban on celeb betting endorsements has been lifted.

A Nairobi court has temporarily lifted state orders which banned celebrities from endorsing gambling businesses as well as all outdoor advertising.

An artist filed for the injunction, arguing the order deprived him of a source of income. The court also suspended the government’s orders banning betting adverts pending the outcome of a case challenging the directive.

As previously reported by The Sauce, The Betting Licensing and Control Board released a set of rules to govern the increasingly popular betting firms which includes barring local celebrities endorsing betting firms and TV betting ads restricted to certain times.

Professional footballers McDonald Mariga and brother Victor Wanyama, Media personalities Joey Muthengi, Carol Radull, and volleyballer Janet Wanja are among the celebrities who enjoy multi-million shilling endorsement deals with Kenyan based betting companies.

The Kenyan government yesterday (20.05.19) threatened to deport foreigners found to be running illegal betting businesses.

Interior Minister Fred Matiang’ i said on Monday that some foreigners had applied for different business permits, only to change course when they got their licences. He instructed the immigration department to review foreign work permits and said anyone found to have flouted the rules would be deported. Mr Matiangí also said betting companies owed the government some $260m (£204m) in taxes.

The Kenyan government is increasingly worried about gambling addiction in Kenya. There are widespread concerns that the multimillion-dollar industry has left many gambling youths hooked, broke and even suicidal.

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According to the BBC, a 2017 poll found that Kenya has the highest number of gamblers in Africa aged below 35.
More than 500,000 Kenyans have been blacklisted by creditors, and the state believes many defaulters borrowed the money for gambling.

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