By FREDRICK OBURA
Casino operators in Nairobi want the betting control and licensing board to tighten regulations so that the industry picks up.
Currently there are over twenty casinos operating in Nairobi, driven primarily by expatriates and tourists as the main driving force behind the growth.
“We want the Board to tighten regulations in the industry for better standards. The laxity from the Board has seen many businesses with low quality facilities allowed to operate, giving customers a raw deal,” said Joseph Ravasio, Flamingo Casino Managing Partner.
Speaking during the launch of the Flamingo Casino in Westlands, Mr Ravasio called on the Government to also consider offering incentives to investors to allow importation of modern technologies for the industry.
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The Flamingo Casino — estimated to be worth over $10 million (Sh850 million) — has 160 slots machine fitted with the latest online technology systems and 15 live game tables.
Gaming and gambling is a profession that has not been embraced fully by many Kenyans as they relate to risk-takers. This is despite positive gains the industry has made in developed economies such as South Africa and in the US.
The South African Government has reaped benefits from the gambling industry, taking in more than R4 billion (Sh40 billion) in taxes, with gross gaming income increasing by two per cent to more than R16 billion (Sh160 billion) in 2010, compared to the previous year.