A total of twenty one gambling machines worth millions of shillings were set ablaze by the government officers in West Pokot County on Tuesday evening. Business people in the area are counting huge losses after the machines that were impounded during the raid which was conducted in Kapenguria and Chepareria towns were torched in the middle of Makutano town with money inside.
This comes after parents in the area raised concern over the alarming rate of children dropping out of schools and indiscipline cases among youths because of engaging in gambling games.
In a raid, the County security team stormed some of the betting outlets and managed to impound the illegal betting machines.
A huge crowd of residents turned up for the exercise that was conducted by the West Pokot Sub County Deputy Commissioner Mr. Khaliff Abdulahi who said the business were unlicensed.
Mr. Khaliff warned residents over illegal gaming machines and gambling games that have mushroomed in the County leading to many children dropping out of school and increased divorce cases in the area.
Khaliff said that they didn’t manage to arrest any person but the machines will be destroyed.
“There is still money in the machines. The owners got a tip off that is why they managed to run away,” he said.
He said the County security team and Deputy county commissioners are authorized to destroy the machines.
The Deputy County commissioner noted that many parents had reported cases to his office concerning their children not going to school, instead, they opt to spend most of the time at the gambling centers.
“People go there and become addicted to gambling, some of the learners spend their school fees and they end up dropping out of school,” he said.
Khallif urged parents in the area to monitor their children not to engage in drug use and other illegal activities.
He warned those in possession of the gambling machines that they’ll all be impounded and destroyed, “We are committed to ensure that by 30th June no machines will be in the County,” he said.
Residents supported the move to burn the machines saying the businesses were illegal.