The government is not letting go of the move to shake and shape the lucrative betting industry in Kenya.
Kenya’s betting industry is worth 200 billion shillings with the government estimating that 76 percent of Kenyan youth are gamblers.
According to the government, the betting industry made more than 200 billion shillings but only remitted 4 billion shillings as taxes.
The government, through Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), failed to renew operational permits for more than 19 betting firms.
Some of the betting firms whose operational licenses have been canceled or deferred to a later date include:
SportPesa and Betin are the two largest betting companies in Kenya controlling about 85 percent of the market in Kenya.
Betin has since moved to court seeking the court to direct BCLB to renew their operational licenses.
According to a piece done by the Daily Nation, the government is contemplating deporting bosses affiliated with the affected betting firms.
The Cabinet Secretary for Interior Dr. Fred Matiang’i had vowed to revoke all licenses for betting firms until they passed a vetting exercise that included them providing a tax compliance certificate.
Kenya was ranked sixth in Africa as the most depressed nation with the government attributing this to gambling.
500,000 youth are said to have been listed on the credit reference bureau (CRB) after taking loans from mobile lender to bet and failing to pay back.
The onslaught by the government will see a complete shift in the gaming industry in the country with more than 5,000 people likely to lose their jobs.
If the government will stand firm and do away with the 19 betting firms, it will be the second to Uganda that refused to renew licenses for all gambling companies in the country.