Government deports 17 foreigners operating illegal betting firms

Pascal Sala

The government through Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, Tuesday signed a deportation order for 17 foreigners accused of operating illegal betting firms in the country.

The deportations came a day after CS Matiang’i directed Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa to review working permits of foreigners who had applied to do businesses in the country.

“Most foreigners who applied for work permits are now engaged in illegal activities. I’d like to sign all those deportation orders today so that those affected leave the country tonight,” Matiang’i said.

Among those deported include Chinese, Turkish, Spanish, South Koreans, Bulgarians and Italians nationals.

“The ubiquity and craze of gaming in Kenya has caused dire social and economic strain at the behest of a few elite, majority of whom are non-Kenyans and live outside the country,” Matiang’i said this during the Betting Control and Licensing stakeholders’ meeting at the Kenya School of Government on Monday. 

According to Matiang’i 90 percent of the betting investors are foreigners who take away the country’s resources. 

Matiang’i further said all applicants seeking renewal of their licenses for the year 2019/2020 and thereafter must pass security vetting and proof of due payment of taxes backed with supporting evidence.

So far there are over 30 betting firms currently operating in Kenya. A report by Pricewaterhousecoopers indicates that Kenya has the highest participants in the gambling industry in Africa.

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