CS Matiang’i says war on gambling bearing fruit
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has expressed satisfaction at the ongoing crackdown on gambling machines and betting companies in the country.
Speaking on Monday during a meeting with the Muslim leadership at Jamia Mosque, Matiang’i stated that the war on gambling has not been all smooth sailing but it continues to bear fruit.
The tough-talking CS further urged Kenyans to join the government in the war against gambling that has since seen two of the region’s leading betting firms shut down their operations in Kenya, leading to huge job losses.
“Data shows since we started a crackdown on gambling, change has been seen. It has not been a bed of roses but I am resolute in stopping it. No country has been built by gambling. This must be fought by every Kenyan,” said Matiang’i.
Garissa Township Member of Parliament and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, speaking during the same function, stated that gambling needs to be banned completely terming it “a threat to national security.”
Betting firms SportPesa and Betin on September 28 halted their operations in Kenya marking the final straw in their long-drawn taxation and regulatory tussle with the Kenyan Government.
In an internal memo seen by Citizen Digital, Betin Managing Director on behalf of Gamecode Ltd further issued a notice of termination to all staff citing financial constraints.
“…As a result of the deterioration of the profitability, the management has had to rethink its operations model and proceed with the exercise of termination on account of redundancy,” read the memo in part.
According to Betin, attempts to find an alternative between July and September this year have been futile making it financially impossible to maintain the workforce.
SportPesa soon followed suit when Chief Executive Officer Ronald Karauri, during a staff meeting held last week, disclosed the firm’s decision to send home all its 400 employees.
The betting firm which operated in Kenya as Pevans East Africa Limited ran into trouble with the law alongside 27 others at the end of July as the Ministry of Interior moved to purge the gambling firms over outstanding tax arrears.
The mass firings have led to a myriad of reactions online, with Kenyans online taking up the conversation under the #ILostMyJob hashtag.