Matiang’i orders deportation of foreigners involved in illegal gambling
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i has ordered the immediate deportation of all foreigners engaging in the gambling business without the required permits.
Dr. Matiang’i, who spoke Monday morning after a Betting Control and Licensing stakeholders meeting at the Kenya School of Government, also directed Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa to review the working permit of all foreigners who applied to do business in the country.
According to Dr. Matiang’i, the annual turnover in the gambling industry rose from Ksh.2 billion to over Ksh.200 billion in the last five years alone.
This, he stated, is in spite of a Ksh.26 billion debt owed to the government – through the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) – by the gaming and gambling sector.
“My firm instructions is that anyone who applied for a different permit and ended in gambling business, I am ready to sign their deportation papers today. We have to clean up the sector,” said Matiang’i.
“We are not using the guise of revenue to allow a broken sector… Over 90% of players in gaming are foreigners, they repatriate a huge amount of money to their countries.”
CS Matiang’i, who was flanked by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa, also stated that the government supports investors doing business in the country as long as they are within the confines of the law.
“We are here to listen to each other but not to condemn each other, we respect your investment but understand that we have a country to protect and not when asked to pay taxes you rush to the court,” he said.
“Advise your employees who are from outside and have permits to do serious businesses, let us respect our country. Where proposals are brought to us in the right way we shall accommodate them.”
The CS further appealed to gambling firms which have met the required regulations to cooperate with taxman without evasion.
Reporting by Erick Omondi, Elphas Lagat, Hezekiah Okoma.