The debate on Kenya’s gaming industry still continues, fuelled by misinformation and untruthful media reports. A major force behind this campaign isGem MP Jakoyo Midiwo who has jumped on the bandwagon by proposing a Bill with far-reaching consequences on the industry.
The MP has claimed that betting companies do not pay tax and that gaming has become increasingly accessible on mobile devices, thus putting at risk vulnerable groups such as adolescents.
In an emotional statement during the public debate on the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill held in late 2016, Mr Midiwo went as far as to maintain that gaming operators’ earnings exceeded those of the Kenya Revenue Authority. He also drew facts related to other countries to support his argument, for instance that online gambling was not legal in the USA.
Overall, the MP painted a bleak picture of the way gaming devastated Kenyan society. According to Mr Midiwo, Kenyans were wasting all their savings and property and “gambling their lives away”. Another reason for the MP to push forward the restrictive Bill are the high levels of tax evasion and money laundering associated with gaming businesses, which, in his view, have been suffocating the country’s economy.