Growing concerns over Kenya becoming a gambling crazy country has moved the government into making the decision to ban all importation of gambling machines. However, this ban has not stopped Kenyans travelling to South Africa to enjoy casino gambling and playing their favourite casino games.
On Friday, the Commissioner of Customs and Border Control, Julius Musyoki posted a short public notice that formally informed all customs agents and importers as well as the general public that the importation of all gambling equipment, machines and devices has been banned and this ban is to be effective immediately.
The notice also informed that in the future the importation of gaming devices will need to get definitive clearance from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
Charles Wambia, director of the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) said that this imposed ban is a control measure so that inferior machines do not enter into the country.
However, Interior Ministry officials have been reported to say that the reason for this ban is to hopefully limit and control the rise of illegal gambling operations, which are being run by Chinese nationals.
In the last few months, there has been an increase in the number of arrests, which pertain to the operation of illegal slots, which are being run from small venues in residential neighbourhoods.
Warnings of illegal gambling machines being run by some Chinese with the backing of some dishonest local businessmen, in particular, bar owners were brought to the attention of the country’s commissioners last October by Anthony Kimani Kung’u, chairman of the BCLB.
Gambling in Kenya has had further restrictions imposed due to a new tax regime that was introduced by the government last autumn. The government has also stated that they will be imposing new legislation and restrictions in the sector.
These new restrictions and bans have not stopped Kenyans and other Africans from travelling to South Africa to casinos like Monte Casino and Sun City Casino, where they are able to play casino games without having to worry about partaking in illegal gambling operations.
Kenya has one of the most mature gaming markets in Africa, with over 30 BCLB licensed companies that offer players everything from casino games to online sports betting. But with more restrictions being imposed popular land-based casinos in South Africa are attracting players from outside its borders. Kenyans and other Africans are able to enjoy playing their favourite casino games without impediment.