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BCLB: Betting Firms Banned From Using Speed Dial Adverts

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has taken a decisive step by betting firms from using browsers’ speed dial features to advertise their services. This move reflects a broader commitment to responsible gambling and highlights the regulatory efforts to strike a balance between business interests and public welfare.


This follows protests by the Consumer Federation of Kenya(COFEK), which said that betting firms were using the feature to target Kenyan internet users, without a regard on age.

“Based on our research and consultations with line experts, we hereby confirm that browser providers, such as Opera, have introduced a “speed dial” feature, specifically curated for the Kenyan market. This offending feature, sponsored by betting firms (your licensees), ensures these betting services are prominently displayed, regardless of the user’s age, religion and other diversities,” COFEK said in a letter to BCLB.

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Browsers’ speed dial features provide users with quick access to their favourite websites, effectively turning the browser’s new tab page into a convenient bookmarking tool.

However, some betting companies have been utilizing this feature to display advertisements for their services, effectively pushing their brand.

This form of targeted and repetitive advertising has raised concerns about its potential impact on vulnerable individuals and responsible gambling practices.

”It has come to the attention of the Board that some betting firms are advertising using the ‘speed dial’ browser internet feature without its authorization. The Board is also aware that this service is targeted at the Kenyan betting market,” BCLB noted.

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According to COFEK, the use of the feature exposes children to serious and irreversible harm, going against the government’s campaign for the protection of children online.

The ban raises questions about the broader digital advertising landscape and the potential for other forms of advertising to be subject to similar regulatory scrutiny.


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