By Edwin Ras Ouma
Kenya is now turning away from being a working nation but a gambling nation. Four of the five people you know are into gambling. They are either into sports betting (sportpesa, betway, Bet Yetu etc) or in those funny looking Chinese modelled coin slots spread all over the country.In every ten steps you make, you will bump into those coin slots surrounded by Kenyans of all walks of life.The situation is getting so pathetic that the Chinese coin slots are spread all over, in the estate shops, markets, local Kinyozis,and in the bars and food kiosks.The danger of this is that it is accessible to anyone, underage children included.
If you think the government of the day should not be blamed for the gambling craze, then this is how….
Any serious and caring government must regulate gambling and betting to avoid manipulation of its citizens by the gambling industries.It might be remembered that months back, parliament formed a special committee to regulate the gambling industries. The move was welcomed until the known and unknown cartels interrupted the process,compromising the whole mission and as we speak, betting and gambling industries continue to operate in their most dubious ways. On the Tuesday 9th April of 2013,when the Jubilee government was being ushered in,the incoming UhuRuto government promised 1 million jobs for the youths. I may not know, may be the 1 million jobs they meant was in the form of betting and gambling.It is not an open secret that President Uhuru Kenyatta is a darling to the East and his government’s close association with China is nothing under the table.It is through the mutual association that the Chinese coin slot meant for gambling has found their way in n the Kenyan market.
No one is saying that gambling is bad.In fact,gambling is acceptable but only when it operates under scrutiny and regulations.Gambling becomes dangerous when it is easily accessible and is the only means of making a coin.The Chinese coin slot is a scam (I wonder why Raila Odinga has not yet unearthed this Jubilee coalition scam).It is easily accessible to underage school children, and there’s limited regulation and licensing. As it is now,the Chinese government ,with the help of some dubious cartels in the Jubilee government, is benefiting from us more than they should, comparing to how we are supposed to benefit from them,given that we are a developing nation. Too bad.
In serious nations, gambling and betting are operated in a very regulated environment. Casinos are situated in ‘high end’ place, out of rich of underage children with comprehensible regulatory policies.But in joking governments,like this Jubilee one, gambling sites are situated everywhere like Mpesa shops, and cheap and accessible with limited regulations.
Any country whose economy is pegged and highly dependent on gambling and betting is bound to fail. A country’s economy should be dictated by a working nation, and not a gambling one.
Ten years to come,Kenya will be a very dry nation, having been ‘milk dry’ by Chinese cartels while China’s economy will double, thanks to cheap and unsuspecting market from Kenya. Kenyan population is now lost in gambling. Chinese coin siphoning machines are now widely spread in Nyalenda, Manyatta, Kibos, MIgosi and Mamboleo estates.
“This machine is becoming a nuisance in the my area. My main concern is that it is promoting gambling activities among children which is illegal in law. Children stealing money from parents to do to this damn machine and conflict is on the rise in families as monies meant for food is used to play in this machine.
The situation is about to be worse given that children are about to close school. We have to join hands and send this thing back to the sender.” adds Benard Nyadida