Parliament forms team to probe gambling

Parliament has this morning formed a committee to probe the multi-billion gambling industry in the country amid claims of financial impropriety by betting firms.

The 11-member select committee to be co-chaired by House Majority Leader Aden Duale and Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo is expected to look into the increasing incidences of gambling.

The committee is expected to begin investigations into the lucrative sector and table a report with recommendations on how to regulate it within 14 days.

The parliamentarians are expected to also come up with a formula with which the state can seal loopholes that have enabled betting companies evade tax.

Members of the committee include MPs Kanini Kega (Nyeri), Samuel Chepkonga (Ainamoi), Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi), Samuel Gichigi (Kipipiri) and Thomas Mwadeghu (Wundanyi.

The industry has seen the proliferation of new betting companies who have joined to cash in on the relatively new sector that has taken the country by storm.

It is estimated to have over 5 million active subscribers who make bets of various denominations, raking in an estimated minimum of Sh3 billion per month.

There have been growing calls for the regulation of the industry by various players who say gambling sets a bad precedence among the youth. They also argue it leads to the deploration of gamblers’ economic status as they bet on their incomes and savings.

This they say has led to people taking their own lives as a result of money lost from bets that did not yield expected outcomes.

Students have been known to risk their school fees in anticipation of big winnings and then commit suicide when the unexpected losses happen.



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