Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has suspended all betting firms in Kenya with effect from July 1.
Matiang’i declared war on the fast growing business venture in a meeting with stakeholders from the betting industry.
Members from the Betting and Licensing Board (BCLB) were also in attendance at the meeting that took place on Monday morning.
“From July 1, all betting agency licences in the country stand suspended, until the holders of those licences provide proof of their tax remittance compliance. The licence will only be then renewed if the betting agency complies with the taxes required,” Matiang’i said.
Matiang’i who described Kenya as a Betting Nation indicated there is need to clean up the country that has seen over 76% of young people actively washed away.
“76 percent of young people are actively involved in betting and 54 percent of those actively involved in betting are low income earners,” Matiang’i said.
Matiang’i indicated that strict laws and regulations are being drafted to ensure that the Betting menace in the country is a disease of the past.
Among the tough measure that will soon come into force is the suspension of all betting agency licences in the country, until the holders of those licences provide proof of their tax remittance compliance.
Despite the Treasury secretary Henry Rotich recently noting that the government taxes on betting firms to control their operations, the industry is still making exponential growth.
Kenya’s biggest betting firm SportPesa stopped Sh600 million local sports sponsorship following the imposition of higher gaming taxes in a move that hurt football clubs, rugby union and the soccer federation.
Kenyans can only wait and see what Matiang’i can do to completely kill off an industry that is paying so much to the government in form of taxes.