Kenyan High Court overrules ‘inefficient’ gambling advertising mandate

Kenyan gambling stakeholders have been granted a reprieve from sanctioned advertising restrictions ordered by Kenya’s Betting Control Board.

National news sources report that Nairobi’s High Court has deemed the Betting Control Board’s advertising demands as incomplete legislation which cannot be mandated on national betting incumbents.

On 30 April, Control Board Acting Director Liti Wambua sanctioned new gambling advertising laws, enforcing a blanket ban on outdoor and social media advertising, combined with a ban on the use of celebrity endorsements of betting products.

Polemically as a Kenyan regulatory body, the Betting Control Board would gain the power to authorise all forms of operator advertising. Having developed the mandate, Wambua would aim to introduce Kenya’s new gambling advertising laws by 30 May.

As anticipated, the Control Board’s advertising demands would be challenged by Kenyan betting incumbents, stating that Wambua had delivered inefficient legislation to adhere to.

Kenyan betting incumbents would be supported by the nation’s Outdoor Advertising Association, which branded the Control Board’s new demands as ‘not consistent with the Constitution’.

Reviewing the challenge against the Betting Control Board,  Justice John Mativo ruled that the Control Board’s actions have been ‘procedurally unfair’ – “I find no difficulty in concluding that the applicant has demonstrated the existence of procedural impropriety in the manner in which the decision was arrived at.”

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