Tougher penalties await broadcasters flouting gaming regulations

Local broadcasters now risk severe penalties from the government for breaching rules governing gaming activities and advertisements. 

Specifically, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) wants Radio and Television stations to cease airing activities such as betting, lotteries, and prize competitions during the watershed period with effect from Thursday, 9th September 2021. The watershed period, according to CA runs from 5.00 AM to 10.00 PM.

In a statement to newsrooms Thursday evening, the Authority charged that failure to comply fully with this directive shall attract “regulatory actions being taken against any violation, which will include, but not limited to, levying penalties as prescribed in Section 83A of the Act, suspension of broadcasting license, and revocation of assigned broadcasting frequencies and/or licenses where applicable.”

“There will be no airing of programming that promotes gaming and gaming adverts during the watershed period as prescribed under the Kenya Information and Communication Act 1998, the Kenya Communication (Broadcasting) Regulations, and the programming code, with effect from Thursday, 9th September 2021.” the regulator warned.

Acting Director-General Tom Olwero says broadcasters are required by license conditions to ensure that their programming content or services and any promotional materials must not be facilitated or encouraged especially that which is likely to mislead through inaccuracies, ambiguities, exaggeration, omissions, or take unfair advantage of any characteristic or circumstance which may exploit consumersvulnerabilities

“The Programming Code prohibits airing of content intended for adult audiences, specifically that which is unsuitable for children during the watershed period,” warned Olwero

He assured the public that they shall continue to monitor the programmes aired by broadcasters to ensure conformance to the provisions of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, the Broadcasting Regulations, the Programming Code and licensing conditions and all other attendant laws.

Similarly, members of the public are equally encouraged to report any incident, where a broadcaster airs gaming activities during the watershed period, to the attention of the Authority or Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).

 

  

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