MPs differ over bid to create betting sector tribunal

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MPs have differed over a bid to create a tribunal to arbitrate disputes arising from betting sector.
The new bill, Gaming Bill, 2019 has proposed the creation of the Gaming Appeals Tribunal which provides for appellate jurisdiction for persons or betting companies dissatisfied with a decision of the Betting Control and Licensing Board.
“An appeal to the Tribunal shall operate as a stay of the decision of the Board until the appeal is heard and determined,” the proposed law suggests.
Upon appeal, the tribunal may confirm, set aside or vary the decision or an act in question and may make such other order as it considers appropriate.
Members of the Committee on Sports, Tourism, and Culture are split on the clauses establishing the entity.
Committee chairman Victor Munyaka has backed the creation of the judicial body to address some of the challenges facing the sector.
Munyaka said it would be best to retain dispute resolution as cases are likely to take longer in conventional courts.
“We are assured of quicker resolution at the tribunal. Furthermore, it will be under the Judiciary hence it shall operate within the confines of the law regulating the institution,” he said.
Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama has however opposed the tribunal, saying it will be an impediment to the board’s authority on regulation.
“The tribunal risks being turned into a cartel of people evading justice. When allowed, the industry players will use it to delay cases,” Wanyama said.
He added that industry players risk running the tribunal by compromising the members as there is no timeline for dispensing cases before the team.
Wanyama says that to empower BLCB, the bill should create a law which will deter anyone seeking to delay justice in the face of an appeal against the board’s directive.

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