The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has barred media houses from the airing of programming that promotes gaming and gaming adverts (betting, lotteries, and prize competitions/promotions) during the watershed period, effective immediately.
In a statement on Thursday, September 9, 2021, CA noted that broadcasting stations are airing and promoting gaming activities and related advertisements in violation of the provisions of the Kenya Information & Communications Act 1998 (KICA), Kenya Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations 2009, the Programming Code, Broadcasting license conditions as well as the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, Chapter 131 of the Laws of Kenya.
“Broadcasters are required by license conditions to ensure that their programming content or services and any promotional materials must not be facilitated or encouraged especially that which is likely to mislead through inaccuracies, ambiguities, exaggeration, omissions or take unfair advantage of any characteristic or circumstance which may exploit consumers’ vulnerabilities.
Further, Sections 20 and 34 of the Broadcasting Regulations and Section 3 of the Programming Code, prohibits airing of content intended for adult audiences, specifically that which is unsuitable for children during the watershed period,” said CA acting director-general Tom Olwero.
“In this regard therefore, there will be no airing of programming that promotes gaming and gaming adverts during the watershed period as prescribed under the Kenya Information and Communication MN 998, the Kenya Communication (Broadcasting) Regulations and the programming code, with effect from Thursday, 9th September 2021.”
The watershed period runs from 5.00 am to 10.00 pm East African time.
Media houses that fail to comply with the directive risk penalties, suspension of broadcasting license, and revocation of assigned broadcasting frequencies and/or licenses where applicable.
“The Authority wishes to assure the public that we shall continue to monitor the programmes aired by broadcasters to ensure conformance to the provisions of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, the Broadcasting Regulations, the Programming Code and licensing conditions and all other attendant laws,” added Olwero.
Members of the public have also been encouraged to report any incident, where a broadcaster airs gaming activities during the watershed period, to the attention of the Authority or Betting Control and Licencing Board.