•Gaming activities, including Casinos will also not be available as the government moves to manage night activities ahead of the elections day.
•The move is similar to the closure of bars, nightclubs and restaurants on the night to the polls.
Gamblers will not be able to access betting and gaming activities over the elections day.
This follows a government directive that shuts all gaming operations from Monday midnight (August 8) to Tuesday 5pm (August 9).
“The board wishes to clarify that gaming operations shall remain suspended..be guided accordingly,” Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) Chief Executive Officer Peter Mbugi says in a directive, copied to county gaming officers.
Some of the firms expected to temporarily shut operations include SportPesa, Betika, Odibets, Dafabet, Bangbet, Kilibet, Kwik Bet, Sportika, Betviva, Scorepesa, A Kick-off Sports Bar and Betafriq.
“We are closing today at 11.59,” a manager at one of the firms told the Star.
Betsafe Kenya said" "Our gaming services will be suspended from Monday midnight until Tuesday 5:00PM to allow our customers to vote in the 2022 General elections in line with a government directive."
Gaming activities, including Casinos will also not be available as the government moves to manage night activities ahead of the elections day.
The move is similar to the closure of bars, nightclubs and restaurants on the night to the polls.
Punters who spoke to the Star however argued that online betting activities had no impact on elections day.
“I always bet on my mobile phone which I can do from anywhere so the directive does not really add up,” said Olaisa Mollel, an Umoja resident.
The gaming industry, especially betting, is a top sin tax target by the government which has also been strict on gambling activities in the country.
In May this year, Interior CS Fred Matiang'i ordered the Betting Control and Licensing Board to only license firms that are tax compliant from July 1.
Matiang'i directed the Board to ensure that the betting and gaming firms have been cleared by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Financial Reporting Centre and the Interagency security team before being licensed to operate.
A tough operating environment has seen some companies pull out of the market with others cutting Corporate Social Responsibilities and sports sponsorship budgets.
In 2020, the board generated in excess of Sh140 million from gaming licences and fees, with the taxman getting about Sh6 billion in form of taxes.