Thousands of children have fallen prey to the gaming machines that have flooded the Kenyan market especially the rural areas.
The machines are imported from China and are assembled in downtown Nairobi and the biggest markets are in Nakuru, Mombasa, Kericho and Kisumu.
In Mombasa, for instance, the agents can collect Ksh300,000 a day from addicted teenagers who have dropped out of school, and turned to crime.
It is said that in Mombasa, the county council continues to hand out “Machines & Games” licenses for Ksh12,000 despite the national government’s directive.
In May, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i suspended imports of gambling machines in the government’s crackdown on gaming.
He ordered the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards not to allow gaming machines into the country.
“The government has banned importation of Chinese gaming machines with immediate effect,” the CS said.
Speaking to Vice News, an agent employed by a Chinese company said that bribing of local police officers ensured the seized ‘lotto’ machines are returned to their owners and at the right price, kids are allowed to play in plain sight.
“If the foreigners want to destroy children, let them try destroying theirs, because we cannot condone this in our country,” he said, adding that foreigners without work permits have been flocking the country to trade in the machines.
Do you have a story you want told? Do you know of a sensitive story you would like us to get our hands on? Email your news TIPS to email@example.com