•The average income of most gamblers ranges between Sh5, 000 – 10,000 per month.
•Betting companies owe Kenya Revenue Authority Sh26 billion, and the attempt to claim the amount has been frustrated by court orders.
The government has faulted betting companies in the country for negative effect that it has caused to the youth.
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has revealed that currently, over 500,000 Kenyans have been blacklisted by the CRB over defaults in repaying money borrowed for gambling.
The CS spoke on Monday during a meeting with betting stakeholders in Nairobi.
He said that most of the youth who are associated with gambling are jobless.
Matiang'i also revealed that the average income of most gamblers ranged between Sh5, 000 – 10,000 per month.
The CS warned that he will deport directors of betting companies who do not have genuine work permits to do gambling.
BETTING IN KENYA AT A GLANCE
Betting companies owe the Kenya Revenue Authority Sh26 billion.
However the taxman's attempts to claim the amount has been frustrated by court orders.
Matiang'i said that the annual turnover of the gaming industry increased from Sh2 billion to about Sh200 billion within a span of five years, which is a 10,000% growth rate.
He instructed the IG and the Director of Criminal Investigations to review the list of directors by the close of business on Monday.
"I have no problem signing deportation letters today so they can leave the country tonight," he said.
Matiang'i said the industry employees about 5,000 Kenyans and 100 foreigners. However, almost all revenue goes abroad.
"Uncontrolled gambling has reorganized the financial lives of poor Kenyans in very drastic ways. This money is directly pocketed by firms owned by non-Kenyans, a huge chunk of which is transferred to foreign capitals, and very little is left in circulation here in Kenya," he said.
The CS said that come June 30 at midnight, no gambling license will be renewed automatically.
"All applicants for licenses (fresh or renewal) will undergo security vetting. Renewal of licences will be pegged on due payment of taxes backed with all supporting evidence," he said.
He instructed the industry players to cooperate with the government because it only supports clean business and investments.