ON-AIR GAMBLING

Film Board should leave radios alone

In Summary

• The Kenya Film and Classification Board was set up in 1963 to regulate films and stage plays

• The Betting Control and Licencing Board is in charge of authorising any form of gambling in Kenya

Radio microphone
Radio microphone
Image: Courtesy

The Kenya Film Classification Board has told MPs that it will report some radio and TV stations to the DCI for running gambling games (see P8).

The Film Board is supposed to licence the showing and production of movies in Kenya. 

On-air betting should be monitored by the Betting Control and Licensing Board or the Communications Authority of Kenya.

There are many simple games with cash prizes on FM radio stations operated by companies like Radio Africa (the majority shareholder of the Star). These games give away cash to a listener who correctly answers a question or who is the first to phone in when a certain song is played.

This is not gambling because the listener does not have to pay anything to enter. There is no money stake.

However some media houses do run games or lotteries where listeners or viewers do have to pay to enter. That can legitimately be considered gambling and should indeed be restricted or regulated.

But that regulation should not be done by the Kenya Film Classification Board. There is already too much overlap among government bodies trying to carve out a space for themselves. 

Quote of the day: "It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves."

François de La Rochefoucauld
The French author was born on September 15, 1613