According to a study by the University of Nairobi, approximately 40% of young people in Kenya have engaged in some form of gambling. This is a significant portion of the population and has led to a number of negative consequences, including financial instability, relationship problems, and even addiction.
One of the main factors contributing to the widespread gambling problem in Kenya is the easy availability of gambling outlets. In recent years, the number of betting shops and casinos in the country has increased significantly, making it simple for young people to access these forms of gambling. In addition, the proliferation of online gambling sites has further exacerbated the problem, as it is now possible for anyone with an internet connection to participate in gambling activities from the comfort of their own home.
The impact of gambling on the youth in Kenya has been significant. Many young people have found themselves in financial difficulties as a result of their gambling habits, with some even incurring large debts. This can lead to a range of negative consequences, including strained relationships with family and friends, problems at work or school, and even legal problems.
The Kenyan government has attempted to address the gambling problem by introducing a number of regulatory measures. For example, the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act of 1966 was amended in 2013 to increase the minimum age for gambling from 18 to 21 and to impose stricter regulations on the advertising of gambling products. In addition, the government has also introduced measures to limit the number of betting shops and casinos in the country, as well as to increase taxes on these businesses.
However, the government’s efforts to increase taxes on gambling have had unintended consequences. According to data from the Kenyan Revenue Authority, the total amount of bets placed on gambling platforms in the country has decreased significantly in recent years, likely due to the increased taxes on gambling activities. This has had a negative impact on the revenues generated by betting firms in Kenya, which have seen a decline as a result.
Despite these efforts, the gambling problem in Kenya remains a significant concern. It is clear that more needs to be done to address this issue and to protect the young people of Kenya from the negative consequences of gambling. This may involve further regulatory measures, as well as increased efforts to educate the public about the risks of gambling and to provide support to those who are struggling with gambling addiction.