The High Court has temporarily halted a directive banning celebrities from endorsing betting services, pending determination of a case opposing the move.
The ban, which was to take effect on May 30, was issued by the Betting Control and Licencing board in bid to control gambling addiction especially by the youth in the country.
Justice James Makau issued the conjunction on Monday after an artist moved to court claiming the ban had interfered with his source of income and that of other celebrities.
“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 suit filed by Kamau Wanjohi, who uses the stage name MC Moreydoc, lists BCLB Chairman Cyrus Maina, CEO Liti Wambua and Attorney General as respondents.
In his application, Wanjohi says the board’s decision to ban betting endorsement was irrational, further arguing that its definition of ‘celebrity’ is vague.
The May 2 directive by BCLB, also banned outdoor and social media advertising of gambling products.
The ban prohibited lottery firms from airing adverts between 6 am and 10 pm.
“We wish to remind you that gaming is a demerit good and all demerit goods have the potential to harm the consumer with a possibility of leading to addiction as well as some disorder,” the letter read in part.
Meanwhile, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Monday ordered for deportation of foreigners involved in illegal gambling business in the country.
Speaking during a Betting and Licencing Board stakeholders forum in Nairobi, Matiang’i noted that his ministry will on Monday issue deportation orders for all foreigners operating gambling business without relevant work permits.
Matiang’i stated that most of the foreigners had applied to do some other businesses but ended up pitching camp in the gambling sector.