Midiwo wants state to be in charge of increasing betting platforms

Minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo react after a special sitting in parliament yesterday. Photo/Monicah Mwangi
Minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo react after a special sitting in parliament yesterday. Photo/Monicah Mwangi

National Assembly deputy minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo (pictured) wants the government to be in charge of all sports betting and gambling platforms.

The Gem MP yesterday told the House committee on Labour there is need for the government to own the platforms to ensure taxes are remitted and curb cases of money laundering.

He said the betting and gambling industry is not fully regulated and it includes serious and unlawful practices, harmful both to the state and gamblers. Midiwo is pushing for the adoption of an amendment Bill that provides a proper legal framework for regulating and controlling gambling. “We have proposed in this law that no foreigner can own a gambling licence in Kenya. many of them, including Chinese and Bulgarians, are not licenced. The Constitution prohibits us from holding foreign accounts, hence the state should run gambling platforms,” he told the committee, chaired by Matungu MP David Were. The Gem MP took issue with the mobile phone services company Safaricom, saying many gamblers use its internet platform to bet. He said the communication company is contributing to loss of jobs in the country through gambling and banking. “If Kenya is not bold enough to deal with Safaricom, we will not have an economy in years to come. Banks are laying off people because communication firms have taken over the money industry,” Midiwo said.

Mt Elgon MP John Serut concurred with Midiwo and said the government should investigate the gambling and banking platforms Safaricom offers betting companies to curb money laundering.