County government cancels licenses for betting operators

Murang’a governor Mwangi wa Iria has ordered cancellation of all licenses issued to betting operators doing business within the county.

The governor said betting was illegal in the county and wants those who have invested in the business to shift to major cities in the country.

Wa Iria has observed that gambling has penetrated to village trading centres contributing to high school dropout among young people.

Speaking in Gatanga on Saturday, the governor said the betting trend which has been embraced by youth has negative impact to the county’s economy thus the decision to ban the games.

Betting is also turning to be main contributor to increased crime cases as participants have to get money to take part in the gaming. Students are ending up stealing money from their parents to bet and eventually they get addicted to gambling prompting them to drop out of school, he noted.

He said there has been public outcry from parents and members of the society about increased installation of betting machines inalmost every local trading centre.

We have listened to complaints from our people and we have no option but to ban betting in this county. Let those who want to gamble visit major cities like Nairobi, noted Wa Iria.

He said betting had also been embraced by young women who want to make money quick through easy means, adding that the trend had made some mothers to neglect responsibility of bring up their families in a responsible manner.

My administration would strive to ensure a hardworking young generation but not one that waits to get quick money through gambling, said the governor.

Wa Iria’s directive comes even after some betting machines owners got a reprieve from court after the case they had filed objecting to banning of their business is heard and determined.

On Friday, more than 350 betting and gambling business owners filed a contempt case before a Murang’a court against the county police bosses for continuous harassment by police officers.

The business fraternity accuses police of raiding their premises and confiscating their machines despite a High Court order that issued conservatory orders restraining them from conducting crackdown, disrupting and confiscating their businesses, until a case before the court is heard and determined.

The governor said his orders should be adhered to claiming that he has not be served with any court order whatsoever, giving reprieve to betting and gambling business owners.

Source: Kenya News Agency