BCLB must put level playing ground in the fight for ripe betting market share

Friday, December 11th, 2020 00:00 |

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That betting has taken the Kenyan market by storm is a fact and should be taken as a positive invention since it creates numerous employment opportunities and raises massive revenue for the government.

It is believed the numerous betting companies already registered by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) pay collective taxes of more than Sh 6 billion annually, which is four times the amount Treasury needed last year to recruit teachers.

The business seems to be thriving for both parties, the investors, the government and the masses who earn a living from the industry in one way or the other.

However, with this it has of late emerged that some players have innovated some unorthodox means of pushing others out of the market to be able to enjoy a bigger piece of the cake.

Some of the players are believed to be holding key positions in the government or may be having powerful connections that help them unfairly suppress and out muscle the rest, in the vicious fight for the rich market share.

Worrying trend

If the trend continues, some of the companies that are owned by foreign investors may actually fold up completely as they feel there is no level playing ground and are being targeted unfairly.

The trend is pushing the country to be on the verge of becoming an undesirable environment for foreign investors and this puts at risk the more than 55,000 people benefiting from these firms either directly or indirectly.

Apart from just the revenues remitted to the government in form of taxes and the job opportunities, some of the bettings firms proved to be key players during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, by cushioning the vulnerable masses, sports personalities and even medics in different ways.

To this en, BCLB  - tasked with regulating and controlling betting, lotteries and gamming, protecting members of the public against fraud, eradicate illegal gambling and promoting responsible gamming - must ensure a level playing ground for all the players without bias to allow other players to thrive in the market.  - the author is a senior writer at People Daily

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