Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has ordered for deportation of foreigners involved in illegal gambling business in the country.
Speaking during a Betting and Licencing Board stakeholders forum in Nairobi, Matiang’i noted that his ministry will on Monday issue deportation orders for all foreigners operating gambling business without relevant work permits.
Matiang’i stated that most of the foreigners had applied to do some other businesses but ended up pitching camp in the gambling sector.
“My firm instructions is that anyone who applied for a different permit and ended in gambling business, I am ready to sign their deportation papers today. We have to clean up the sector,” said Matiang’i.
Noting that 90 per cent of gambling business owners are foreigners, Matiang’i directed Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa to review all working permits of foreigners who applied to do business in the country.
The CS further asserted that despite betting firms reaping big from gambling, the sector owes the government Ksh.26 billion in unpaid taxes. He cited that collection of the debts has been frustrated through the courts by players in the sector.
“Poignantly, attempts to recover this amount have not been fruitful because the key industry operators have found refuge in judicial processes where all manner of court orders are sought and issued…” Matiangi said.
He, however, encouraged business owners with valid permits to cooperate with the tax man.
The move comes barely a month after the betting board announced stern measures to control gambling in the country.
Early this month, the board banned outdoor and social media advertising of gambling products.
In a letter by the board’s acting director, Liti Wambua, betting, lottery firms were prohibited from airing adverts between 6 am and 10 pm.
Celebrities have also been disallowed from endorsing the products.