CS Matiang’i sets sights on tighter regulation for betting industry

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i
Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang'i

The government has set its sights on tighter regulations on the betting industry in Kenya. Speaking during a meeting with members of the Betting and Licensing Control board, Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i decried the state of the industry currently, and how it has affected many young Kenyans. He said the sector should be regulated better, and that despite the fact that last year revenue collected from the sector was Kshs 202 billion, what came in as tax is Kshs 4 or 5 billion. He said no license will be renewed to anybody who hasn’t paid their taxes, “Effective 1st July, all licenses stand cancelled except for those who would have complied and paid their taxes. Under Cap 31, you have the responsibility as the board to ensure all taxes are paid.”

He noted that in the continent, Kenya leads when it comes to the population of young people who are involved in betting, “76% of young people are involved in one form of betting or the other. 54% of those involved are from the low income earning bracket,” he said, adding that 500,000 youths have been blacklisted by money lending agencies because they borrowed money and couldn’t pay, most probably, they borrowed money for betting. “We are prepared to face whatever consequnces there may be to ensure the sector is regulated effectively.”

He further directed the board to give a status report on the betting industry in the country with annotation profiling the agencies involved within the next thirty days. He revealed the Immigration PS and the Director Generakl in charge of Immigration Sercvices were directed to ake sure everyone involevd in teh indusry, esepcially non-Kenyans, are properly documenetd, are in the country leggaly and have the right papers, “Where they are not, the law should take its course immediately and we should call them to account.”