Premium Rate services, whether on sms or IVR (UPDATE: October 2015 ~ and now mobile money) have been seen by many as money spinners and that has led to two things;
- entrepreneurs clamoring to get that coveted PRSP (premium rate service provider license) from the Communications Authority
- people thinking up …sometimes weird, sometimes innovative promotion and gaming concepts to make money
I will not go deeper into my thoughts on the two points but rather focus on the behind the scenes body that is charged with regulating promotions, services and anything that has gambling or “bahati na sibu” connotations in the country, the Betting Control and Licensing Board.
Most sms promotions in the Kenyan market today have a “gambling” aspect whether it Spot the Ball and Win, Vote and Win, Text and Win etc. Therefore before you go live with your service you must ensure that it is within the law.
The Betting Control and Licensing Board was established by an Act of Parliament Chapter 131 Laws of Kenya of 1966. Prior to the Act, the functions of the board were being handled by the Police Department. The Board has nine sitting members and it plays a big role in changing the notion that gaming is a vice. Given the positive contributions the gaming industry makes to the economy in terms of employment and revenue generation, gaming becomes a legitimate consumer pursuit and hence the need for vigorous promotion.
The Act provides for the control and licensing of Betting and Gaming premises and the activities carried therein; for the authorization of lotteries and prize competition as well as eradication of illegal gambling.Their vision is to be, a world class gaming regulatory agency in Africa.
The Betting Control and Licensing Board is charged with the responsibility of controlling and licensing of Betting and Gaming premises, facilitation of tax collection, authorization of public lotteries and prize competitions, inspection and elimination of illegal gambling.
a) Licensing and controlling of Betting and Gaming premises and the activities carried therein.
b) Authorization and control of Prize competition and lotteries
c) Curbing illegal Betting, Lotteries and Gaming
d) To provide enabling environment for Betting, Lotteries and Gaming
e) To advocate for Betting, Lotteries and Gaming as a legitimate consumer pursuit
f) To create awareness and public confidence in Betting, Lotteries and Gaming.
Some of the licenses that are issued by the BCLB are:
- Permit Authorizing Promotion of off- the Course Bookmaking at Race Meeting
- Pool Betting Scheme License
- Prize Competition Permit
- Public Gaming License
- Public Lottery Permit
The license that you would require is the Prize Competition Permit that entails the following:
Purpose: Authorize Promotion of Prize Competition
Activities: Promotion of Goods/Services and of awarding prizes
Application Fee: ksh 500/=
License Fee: 6% of the budget
Maximum Processing Time: 7 Days
Statute: Betting, Lotteries & Gaming Act
Validity: 3 Months
Contact Office: Office of the Director
Resolution Criteria: (i) Meet requirements (ii) Due diligence investigations (iii) Board’s policy i.e general moratorium
* (iii) Submission of art work
* (iv) Advertising budget with media schedule
* (v) production and design cost
* (i) Completion of Form 59A
* (ii) Proof of possession of prizes
You can download the permit here
Application for a permit authorizing promotion of prize competition
Here are the BCLB contacts
Tel: +254 (020) 2220186,316471,343578,9
Physical Address: Kenya Charity Sweepstakes House,3rd and 8th Floor Mama Ngina Street
Email Address: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Operating Hours: 8.00am to 1.00pm 2.00pm to 5.00pm
I will try get a video interview with some of the directors who can shed more light drawing from their experiences over the years and what they as a board see as the future of promotions and gambling more so as concerns the use of the mobile phone to reach the final frontier…the mass market.