Kenya could see all sports betting companies closed down over BBI recommendations

A man betting on football games with a mobile phone at sports betting shop. /COURTESY

One of the key concerns raised in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report is the lowest-income households in Kenya spend a lot on lottery tickets.

The report recommends that the government sets up a national lottery that will replace private lottery companies in the country.

The report says earnings from the government-owned national lottery could be ploughed back to empower the youth.

If the recommendation is adopted, Kenya could see big sports betting companies closed down.

The report further recommends many other avenues through which the government can empower the youth.

“The private betting industry is leading to hopelessness and greater poverty,” states the report in part.

“The task-force suggests that the private betting industry be replaced with one major one run by government, 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.”

The recommendation will also see Kenya have the first national lottery, the closest such institution being the privately run Kenya Charity Sweepstake that was founded in 1966.

The BBI report also recommended creating a special tax regime for young entrepreneurs running micro- and medium-sized enterprises, including a tax holiday of at least seven years.

An advisory desk manned by a business development expert will also be set up in every Huduma Center to help youth start businesses.