Kenyan Official Calls for Deportation of Foreigners Involved in Illegal Gambling
Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matlangi is sick and tired of foreign gambling operators who move to his country and flout local gaming regulations by illegally importing Chinese slot machines. That’s why Matlangi is giving international gaming machine owners and operators until June 30 to get right with the law or face deportation.
Matlangi’s announcement came as Kenya faces a flood of, mainly, Chinese-built gambling machines that are inundating small businesses and undercutting the government efforts to clean up the local, generally land-based, gambling industry. Not only are the machines a threat to government tax revenue, Matlangi says they’re a threat to Kenya’s very future. In a statement published on Kenyan news site Capital News, Matlangi addresses the issue saying:
These machines are a threat to our society. It is working against the President’s 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school. We shall not accept it.
The Kenyan war on international gambling machines is not, however, without controversy. Last year, after Kenyan officials destroyed hundreds of said games, local merchants associations protested the actions. They said that the machines were legal under local laws and that the federal government had no standing to confiscate them. The merchants also allege that Kenyan authorities took money out of the machines before taking them into custody.
The Kenyan government denies any wrongdoing with regards to seized gambling devices.
Matangi went on to warn Kenyan citizens that the penalties for working with foreign gambling operators were stiff and that the government intends to vigorously enforce them.