Gambling is Kenya’s next big scandal, Raila now cautions
SEE ALSO :Raila runs into protest against taxIntricate web He claimed senior people in the Jubilee administration are “deeply involved” in sponsoring creation of gambling monopoly, and in allegedly shipping the loot out of the country. “If you got an average of six million people betting an average of Sh100 a day, that’s about Sh600 million. It’s no wonder they are able to buy stake in Hull City and buy kits for Southampton and Arsenal. It is no wonder money is being poured on our (CORD) leaders to sway them into Jubilee. We want proper regulation to make the industry competitive, ensure taxes are paid and our people are shielded from getting addicted to gambling,” he said. Sportpesa, which signed a sponsorship deal with Hull City, has disputed the Sh6 billion figure. The betting company said in a paid-up advertisement in local dailies that the sponsorship amounts to £3 million per year (Sh400 million) for a period of three years. “The sponsorship amount is £3 million per year. The sponsorship amount and any other international sponsorships are based on revenue projections from the international business,” reads the statement.
SEE ALSO :Tusker intoxicate Leopards, Gor loseIn the current storm, there are reports to the effect that a Bill on regulation of gambling had been submitted to the House Business Committee. But Benjamin Lang’at, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on Finance, denied knowledge of such Bill. “My committee has not submitted anything like that to the House Business Committee. That is farfetched,” said Lang’at. New regulations But The Standard on Saturday independently established that a Bill seeking to introduce new regulations in the betting industry was published on June 11, 2015. The National Treasury Bill, Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Act signed by Leader of Majority Aden Duale was published and submitted to the departmental committee on Finance. “That was a National Treasury Bill and is set to go for a second reading,” said Duale. On Thursday, Muhoroni MP James Oyoo said the manner in which the committee had been constituted was suspicious and called for reconstitution of the same. But Duale termed the allegations around composition of the committee as “sideshows” by people who are opposed to regulation of the betting industry. “The Gaming Law in this country needs to be reviewed and reinforced. By its very nature, gambling has many incentives that at times attract deceitful, dishonest and disorderly conduct from operators. Gambling is a demerit good and, as is the practice worldwide, demerit goods are subject to heavy taxation or direct control to reduce consumption because of their potential harm to the consumers,” said Duale. Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo said there are forces at play whose only objective is to scuttle a bid to regulate the betting industry.
“We are talking about people minting billions of shillings from poor people. As we try to protect Kenyans, we are aware that the beneficiaries of these schemes will want to fight back,” he said.
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