Kenya’s Government Plans for a Lottery Program

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Prepare for a groundbreaking shift as Kenya’s government announced plans to introduce a national lottery, revolutionizing sports, customs, and arts funding. This development puts it in direct competition with betting companies in Kenya. The Sports, Arts, and Social Development Fund receives funds mostly from gaming, betting, and lotteries. Now, it anticipates a boost in its share of the National Lottery revenue. 

The National Treasury is also considering a Public-Private Enterprise system for infrastructure projects. This includes tax incentives for corporate support and a specialized or ring-fenced fee.

“The government will explore long-term options to finance sports and may even establish a national lottery. It will fully capitalize on the prospects of the sports and arts industries. Furthermore, the government will conduct a comprehensive review of the Sports Act. It will create a new role in the Tourism Promotion Committee and funding to attract world-class sporting activities.” The National Treasury disclosed. 

While public lotteries like the Kenya Charity Sweepstake and Win Lotto exist, Kenya has yet to introduce an official national lottery. Other countries, such as the USA with Mega Millions and Powerball, rely on national lotteries for substantial revenue generation. In the UK, the Gambling Commission oversees the National Lottery.

Previous attempts to establish a national lottery in Kenya, such as the proposed 2019 Gaming Bill, encountered obstacles. The Betting, Lottery and Gaming Act was intended to be replaced by the Gaming Bill, paving the way for a national lottery. However, creating a National Lottery would put it in competition with other public lotteries and private gaming companies.

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) also made a report. It stated that 105 casinos, 57 public gaming establishments, and 13 public lotteries will operate in the 2022/23 fiscal year. Still, lotteries are distinctive from both betting and gambling.

In contrast to a lottery where winners are selected randomly, the stakes are directly proportional to the amount wagered in gambling. Conversely, in betting, one makes a wager on the result of an event with the anticipation of financial gain if one’s forecast is accurate. 

The only way for the government to receive funds from betting, lotteries, and gaming is through taxation. This money goes into the Arts, Sports, and Social Investment Fund. Its mission is to promote and improve sports, the arts, and social programs.

Gaming brought in Sh3.294 billion for the Treasury in the fiscal year ending in June 2022. The exchequer anticipates a net of Sh15 billion from the sector in the current fiscal year.

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