Mixed reactions from federation heads on BBI
Sports stakeholders have thrown their weight behind the proposal by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report that has called for promotion of sports and arts as a way of empowering the youth.
While the move was welcomed by some, the proposal for a government-run national lottery to replace privately-owned betting firms has been met with reservations from some quarters.
“The taskforce recommends that the private betting industry be replaced with a Government-run national lottery whose proceeds, as is the case in other countries, are used for activities that uplift the youth, sports, culture and other social activities beneficial to citizens,” reads part of the report.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa says the government is better of regulating the private betting industry instead of replacing it.
“I am not sure the government can be creative enough to drive the betting industry. It would be better off left to private investors then the government regulates how proceeds from betting trickle down to sports. I do not know the details of the proposals but this has the risk of killing club sponsorships,” said Mwendwa.
Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) boss Waithaka Kioni has welcomed the move albeit on the condition that prior arrangements are made to cover all teams, both national and individual clubs that have any active partnerships with existing betting firms.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) vice-chairman Thomas Opiyo dismissed the proposals, saying they are only good on paper but impossible to implement.
“The government is very inefficient. One can never know how much is coming into such a fund and how much is disbursed,” said Opiyo.