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Court suspends ban on betting ads

A betting shop in Nairobi
A betting shop in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court has temporarily suspended the directive that banned celebrities from participating in gambling advertisement.

The ban had been put in place by the Betting Control and Licensing Board in a bid to curb addiction on gambling and betting.

But Justice James Makau issued the order after an artist moved to court claiming that his source of livelihood and that of others like him had been interfered with.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this case, a conservatory order is issued staying the implementation of the decision by the BCLB issued on April 30 touching on advertisement and endorsement of betting, lottery, gaming and prize competitions,” said Justice Makau.

The ban was to be effected as of May 30, and had stopped outdoor advertisements of gambling and advertising on social media.

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The ban had also barred celebrities from endorsing gambling operations as well as advertising the vice between 6a.m and 10pm.

The suit was filed by Mr Kamau Wanjohi who uses the stage name MC Moreydoc. He sued the betting board, its chairman Cyrus Maina and Chief executive officer Liti Wambua and the Attorney General.

According to the said artist, as someone involved in recording, performing and distribution of music, the said decision was irrational.

He argues that the ban was issued without having public participation and that the use of the word of a celebrity in the directive is vague.

Even though the definition of a celebrity is in dispute, celebrities have been granted a leeway to continue endorsing gambling and betting kind of advertisements.

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