Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has ordered the suspension of all betting company licenses effective July 1, 2019.
The firms have been given three months to comply with all government regulations including their obligations to KRA.
The tough-talking CS stated that only then would the companies have their licenses renewed.
He was speaking on Monday after a meeting with the Betting and Licensing Control Board (BLCB) at Kenya Charity Sweepstake House, along Mama Ngina Street, to review relevant policies in the sector.
“Effective July 1, all betting licenses in the country stand suspended unless the holders have paid all their taxes,” declared Matiang’i.
“Tafadhali mimi sitaki ile ujeuri wa kawaida kuleta tax compliance certificate hapana (I don’t want trickery where you submit tax compliance certificates. No) there must be evidence that tax has been paid,” he added.
The CS also noted that the betting firms had made revenues of over Ksh 200 billion yet only Ksh4 billion was paid in tax.
Matiang’i decried that the sector exposed Kenya to activities of money laundering.
He also cited that the rise in suicides in the country was partially contributed by lost bets from gamblers.
“500,000 young people are blacklisted by lending agencies. A majority borrow to bet. We need to clean up this sector, we are destroying our children/families,” Matiang’i remarked