Kenya gambling machine operators have filed a petition against the Government administrators and the local police for openly resisting a court order prohibiting a crackdown on their businesses.
Last week, the country’s Government eliminated approximately 1,000 betting terminals situated in Nakuru as part of its clampdown on illegal gambling shops on the territory of Kenya. However, the Countries Amusement and Gaming Society insisted that the crackdown imposed on genuine businesses was not legal. According to the gambling businesses owners, the tighter regulatory measures imposed on such businesses were not legal under a court order dated 2016, which actually stops the crackdown.
In the petition, gambling operators state that the Betting Act of 1966 cannot apply in terms of post-2010 constitution due to the fact that separate counties across the country have been given the power to issue gambling operation licenses.
Sammy Kahiu, the Chairman of the Counties Amusement and Gaming Society, further explained that the gambling businesses are operating in line with the local gambling legislation and do not violate any of the country’s regulations. In addition, he revealed that the gaming industry is a self-regulating one and also features some rules that are focused on promoting responsible gambling. According to Mr. Kahiu, the Kenyan Government and the local Ministry of Interior should become more focused on taking care of unregulated gambling activities, which are usually carried out on the Internet.
He further shared his concerns with some cases of police or administrative officers who were selling confiscated slot machines, taking advantage of the raids of gambling businesses and stealing money from both the local Government and the companies. Mr. Kahiu explained that despite the fact that gambling operators had obtained court orders which stopped such raids on their properties, a number of them have been taken into custody and faced legal proceedings into court.
Gambling Operators Work in Line with Gambling Legislation
When it comes to the above-mentioned court order stopping the Kenyan Government from imposing a crackdown on gambling operators, it was also directed to some individual police and administrative officers preventing the latter from confiscating gaming terminals or disrupting gambling operators’ businesses in any way.
Now, the contempt proceedings that were filed by gambling operators claim that machines are the main source of employment for such companies. In addition, the petition comes to argue that the county Governments monitor and regulate the above-mentioned businesses in order to make sure that there will be no gambling-related harm would be inflicted on society. The Chairman of the Counties Amusement and Gaming Society further rejected the allegations that betting and gaming terminals were dangerous to national security and argued that gambling operations were in line with the Kenyan legislative and regulatory framework.
As mentioned above, gambling operators opposed to the Government’s crackdown on their services, claiming that the Betting Act which was brought into efficient action in 1966 cannot apply for cases reviewed under 2010 constitution, as since then local counties were able to issue gambling operation licenses.