Opinion: The Irony Behind Online Betting Ban in Kenya By The Government

By Juma / July 30, 2019 | 11:11 am




When a hyena wants to feast on her cubs she first accuses them of smelling like sheep. This is an old saying that manifests itself in what is happening in Kenya today between the government and some online betting firms.

Before dwelling deep into what has already been described by some media outlets as “tug of war” between the government and the larger betting sector, let me say that things are not as they seem on the surface.

What is happening at the moment is neither a moral nor a legal issue but an entity capitalizing on the emotions of the perceived many, acting on the judgment of public opinion to reach conclusions that are only aimed fulfilling other hidden agendas other than what is being propagated.

As the push and pull continue, it is evident that the stakeholders have not had a chance to have a candid and sober discussion on the subject at hand. The issues being raised by the government are not adding up, leading to the rise of numerous theories.

The first issue that has been raised leading to the suspension of the more than 27 betting firms, though 10 have already been cleared, is the issue of morality. There is a notion among some people, enhanced by some machinery in government, that betting is evil and, therefore, supposed to be fought by all means possible.

It is pretentious and immorality itself for the part of those castigating the betting sector to wholly condemn the gaming industry while bending the rules for other worst immoral issues such as corruption. It is also pretentious to suspending online betting while allowing casinos to flourish because someone somewhere feels online betting is worse but casinos and charity sweepstakes are as white as cotton.

On my part, I would only consider online betting as a morality threat if children were being allowed to log into the platforms and place their bets. As it stands, no evidence has been brought forth of children taking part in betting.

Call me aloof of what is happening around me but for me, betting can be summed up in a very simple statement; it is a personal choice. As simple as that. People bet at their own free will. Nobody forces them to do so.

Another issue that has been brought up from time to tile is that touching on legal matters. The government argues that the suspended betting firms have been operating illegally. That almost all of them do not tax compliant. As to whether the firms are tax compliant or not, who should we blame? Should we punish the betting firms? Should we question those responsible for ensuring that the firms are tax compliant?

Ironically, some of the firms that have been suspended over tax compliance issue were given awards by the Kenya Revenue Authority for being among the best taxpayers in the country. I am talking about SportPesa. SportPesa won awards from KRA, not once, not twice but thrice. What changed then? Where did the documents go?

The government would have first asked KRA to state as to how some of the firms were not taxed compliant. Running around like a headless chicken and suspending paybills that the firms are supposed to use is not the solution. What is happening is a clear move to frustrate some business as others are let to grow.

“Let the betting companies go. We won’t feel anything. We do not need them,” says someone whose government has failed to deliver on its sports mandate.

Truth is if it not for some betting firms such as SportPesa sports in Kenya would not be where is it. Think about Everton visiting Kenya and athletes getting international exposure. The sporting sector is surely going to feel the heat, especially football and boxing. Let us not lie to ourselves that the government will foot the bill. It will not.

We should rethink.





About Juma

Juma is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it.(020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

View other posts by Juma


More Articles From This Author







Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2019
  • January 2019 (256)
  • February 2019 (216)
  • March 2019 (285)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (272)
  • June 2019 (251)
  • July 2019 (339)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (314)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (145)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (219)
  • March 2018 (278)
  • April 2018 (225)
  • May 2018 (238)
  • June 2018 (178)
  • July 2018 (257)
  • August 2018 (249)
  • September 2018 (256)
  • October 2018 (287)
  • November 2018 (284)
  • December 2018 (187)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (195)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (165)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (248)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (108)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (120)
  • July 2015 (148)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (188)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (174)
  • December 2015 (207)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950