Regulatory Contrasts of Betting Controls in Kenya and the UK

Regulatory Contrasts of Betting Controls in Kenya and the UK

13:26 - 24.05.2024

Here are the differences in betting laws in Kenya and the United Kingdom.

Regarding regulation in the betting industry, each country is significantly different. The UK has a long-established regulatory system that protects customers and tries to mitigate gambling-related harm.

One of the innovations that the UK introduced was GamStop - a self-exclusion tool that aims to protect individuals who are prone to gambling addiction. However, gambling enthusiasts still manage to place bets at sportsbooks without GamStop, which is not a primary topic for law governors.

Legal Framework

This is a law governing gambling activities in Kenya. It was the start of the Betting Control Licensing Board, which regulates all forms of gambling. In recent years, Kenya has seen more robust gambling regulations to control the proliferation of online betting. The amendments to tax rates and operational rules were introduced to prevent gambling issues.

In the UK UKGC regulates gambling activity. Implemented by the Gambling Commission, the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms was introduced to focus on the prevention of gambling addiction.

The Gambling License and Advertising Act 2014 added regulatory control to include all operators who offer their services to UK gamblers, regardless of their location.

License and Regulation

In Kenya, the BCLB control the issuing of licenses and has the role of ensuring operators follow all regulations and rules. In recent years there have been more strict licensing requirements put in place in Kenya.

These include trying to obtain a license as well as maintaining a license. Financial health checks are checked alongside compliance with local laws.

In the UK, the Gambling Commission controls all gambling operators. They check that operators adhere to strict regulations regarding fairness, transparency, and security. Each operator must regularly report to the Gambling Commission.


In Kenya, you will find some of the highest tax rates for gambling operators and players winnings. The tax revenue allocation is intended to support cultural activities, sports, and initiatives that address gambling harm.

The UK has a moderate tax rate compared to Kenya. The UK taxes operators based on where their customers are located, not where the operator is based.

Protection and Problem Gambling

In Kenya, there is a focus on youth protection because there is a high youth population who enjoy gambling. There are measures in place to restrict underage gambling in the country and to provide support to those who are vulnerable.

In Kenya, awareness campaigns are run by NGOs to educate the public on the dangers of gambling and offer appropriate support.

Integration of Support System

In the UK there is a comprehensive support system in place for supporting vulnerable gamblers. This included helplines, counsellor services, and programs assisting with addiction.

Responsible Gambling Tools

In the UK, GamStop is in place, which allows players to take responsibility for themselves if they feel they are gambling too much. By registering with GamStop, players will not have access to gambling websites run by companies in the UK for a specific time. There are loopholes for players if they use non-GamStop casino sites, as this will bypass any restrictions.

Enforcement and Compliance

In Kenya, there are constant crackdowns on illegal operators. Authorities frequently stop illegal gambling operations and ensure they follow the correct compliance and regulations.

The UK has a powerful enforcement mechanism for all operators who do not follow regulations. The UKGC has enforcement powers, so it can fine and revoke licenses if it detects non-compliance.

Advertisements and Promotion

In Kenya, there are rules to prevent advertisements targeting underage players. Regulations have banned social media promotion and outdoor advertisements of betting products. It is a law that gambling operators must not mislead gamblers with any of their promotions.

Strict regulations exist in the UK, including the Advertising Standards Authority and the Committee of Advertising Practice. They control advertising and restrict any promotion of underage drinking.