Three lobby groups have taken the government of Kenya to court, stating that the 5am to 10pm watershed period has been compromised with increased betting, lottery, and gaming advertisements.
The three groups, Stand Against Gambling Addiction, the African Center for Corrective & Preventive Action(ACCPA), and the Center for Accountability Reform and Democracy, claim that there has been a significant increase in the promotion and advertisement of gambling by various media stations including radio and television during their daily broadcasts.
“There has been a mushrooming of betting, lottery and gaming companies and operators who utilize modern telecommunication platforms. The proliferation has let to unhealthy competition and a race to the bottom. The resultant cut-throat competition has driven many into engaging children as part of their clientele, marketers and influencers of betting, lottery and gaming, contrary to the lay,” according to the groups’ court papers.
The public interest litigation filed in the Milimani High Court in Nairobi alleges that Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board and the Communication Authority have failed to protect children from gambling advertising and other related programs at times the law opposes.
“The open advertising of betting, lottery, and gaming activities and dissemination of related information to minors in contravention of the Enabling AAct poses a grave risk to the life, health, and welfare o children in the country. Minors’ gambling involvement or participation endangers their health, safety, and socio-economic interests. There is an imminent danger of losing a generation to gambling and other social ills,” read the petition in another part.
The lobby groups urge the court to suspend the operational licenses of media groups that air gambling-linked programs and advertisements during the watershed period.
The petition awaits a hearing.