Millions lost as Matiangi intensifies war on illegal gambling

Gambling machines impounded in Vihiga County set on fire [Eric Lungai, Standard]

NAIROBI, KENYA: The on-going crackdown on illegal gambling machines across the country has left investors in the trade counting losses.

Hundreds of machines have been either confiscated or burnt in the crackdown with Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi warning those involved of stern action should they continue with the business.

Highlights on illegal gambling crackdown

19 June 2018

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi oversees the destruction of gambling machines seized from entertainment joints across all the 14 sub-counties in Nairobi.

He warned Government officers involved in illegal gambling to stop or face arrest. “All those who are involved, be it a chief or an assistant chief, should be fired, arrested and charged,” said Dr Matiang’i. He also sent a stern warning to foreigners involved in illegal betting that they would be arrested, charged and deported.

19 June 2018  

105 gambling machines destroyed

Police in Vihiga County have destroyed 105 gambling machines impounded from all the five sub counties in the region.

County Commissioner John Chelimo led a team of security personnel in destroying the machines  at the county police headquarters at Mbale.

He said all the machines that were impounded were from persons who had not registered anywhere and did not have licenses of operation from the county government.

“We have been able to get hold of an initial 105 machines and we are urging the general public to come out and give any more information about those that are still in operation,” Mr Chelimo said.

Bungoma County Commissioner James Kianda setting the gambling machines on fire at Matisi area in Webuye West constituency-Photo/Nathan Ochunge/Standard

7 June 2018

At least 21 illegal gambling machines have been impounded in Kaptembwa estate, Nakuru.

The illegal machines were confiscated following an operation conducted by the police and local administrators’ yesterday morning.

It follows a directive issued by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i.

19 June, 2018

Security teams sets ablaze 40 gambling machines worth sh400, 000 in Bungoma

At least 40 gambling machines have been set a blaze at Matisi shopping centre in Webuye West constituency as a way of reducing criminal activities in the area.

The exercise was led by Bungoma County Commissioner James Kianda who said the betting machines had seen many students drop out of school in search of quick money.

Mr Kianda said many children were stealing valuables from area residents and sell so that they can get money for gambling.

“We have received reports that the children also steal money from their parents and gamble with it and some sell their utensils to scrape dealers to get gambling money. All scrape dealers are also warned against buying scrape metals from school going children,” he said.

According to the Commissioner, the machines also contribute to immorality and spread of HIV/AIDs  among the teenagers.

18 June 2018

Interior CS Fred Matiangi inspects Gambling machine before leading a burning exercise at Dagoretti south (Beverlyne Musili,Standard)

Police in Kisumu East have destroyed 165 gambling machines in a renewed fight against gambling craze that has ensnared children, youths and even women.

Kisumu East sub-county commissioner Josephine Ouko set on fire 21 of the slot machines, barely a fortnight after destroying 35 others netted in a campaign aimed at ridding the sub-county of the illegal devices.

The security chief put on notice those bringing in the gaming machines, warning them of facing the full wrath of the law.

She described the machines as a socio-economic threat that risked turning generations into gambling addicts.

3 April 2018 

Over 300 slot machines used in gambling have been confiscated in four Rift Valley counties.

Addressing the press in Nakuru, Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Mongo Chimwanga said that the slot machines were confiscated in various parts of Bomet, Kericho, Nandi and Uasin Gishu Counties.

“We had a successful raid in the four counties and managed to confiscate the slot machines. They have been delivered to the regional headquarters and the operation is still ongoing,” said Mr Chimwanga.

The Regional Coordinator pointed out that most of the business people running the gambling machines have been operating outside the regulatory frameworks which necessitated the confiscation.

13 June 2018

Security officers in Makutano, West Pokot burn 21 illegal gambling machines worth millions of shillings. The machines were impounded during the raid in Makutano, Ortum and Chepareria towns. The machines were burnt with money still inside.

This came after parents complained that their children were dropping out of school because of gambling. 

West Pokot Deputy county Commissioner Khaliff Abdulahi who said the businesses were unlicensed. "We were unable to arrest the owners as they escaped after they were tipped off," he said