The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) is cracking down on gaming operators misusing browser shortcuts for ads. Peter Mbugi, the head honcho at BCLB, fired off a letter demanding an immediate stop to the ‘speed dial’ feature, a nifty browser trick that zaps users straight to betting sites with just a click.

This move follows a January 16 agreement in court between the board, the Attorney General, and the CS Information, settling a dispute sparked by COFEK’s lawsuit last year. Justice Lawrence Mugambi’s verdict was clear: “All gaming operators must ditch the speed dial feature ASAP.”

The BCLB’s February 16 note was stern: Operators who ignore this directive will face the music, following the rules laid down in the Gaming Act, as reinforced by the High Court’s orders.

Why the Fuss?

The controversy isn’t just about annoying ads. COFEK, the consumer watchdog, raised the alarm over the speed dial’s potential harm, especially to kids. They’re worried about ads hooking children into gambling, fueling addiction, and other dark downsides. The complaint pointed out a major oopsie by the betting board and others in regulating these ads, arguing that it’s a free-for-all that’s especially risky for young and impressionable minds.

The saga isn’t over. COFEK’s battle continues in court, tackling other grievances and pushing for a total blackout on browsers that push betting ads. Mark your calendars: The courtroom drama resumes on May 9.

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