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Midiwo praises proposal to increase taxation for betting companies

Mr Midiwo said that while every gambler knows the prominent and well-regulated betting companies, the unregulated slot machines would need a comprehensive law.

The architect of the Bill to restrict the gambling sector praised the proposal to increase taxes for betting companies but said National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich missed the point.

Gem Member of Parliament (MP) Jakoyo Midiwo said the government should come up with a way to stop the proliferation of slot machines which have gone all the way to villages and are uncontrolled.

“I was trying to increase taxes and regulate the industry. There are too many people betting illegally. The Chinese slot machines are the problem. How I wish the government would outlaw them,” he said.

The problem in dealing with the machines has been that betting is regulated by the county governments and courts have barred interference from the national government.

He said increasing the tax on revenue to a flat 50 per cent would result in more lobbying of MPs to shoot down the proposal.

“If you go too high, who will you raise the tax from if you don’t raise it from them?” he asked.

The measure was, however, praised by Majority Leader Aden Duale and Orange Democratic Movement chairman John Mbadi.

They described the increase as a punitive but necessary measure to stem the perceived ills of the habit.

“They have fought many Bills here but now this will save our youth. This is a punitive measure and a deterrent to the social ills in the same way taxes are always increased on cigarettes and alcohol,” Mr Duale said.

Mr Mbadi said the sector needed tough regulation. “I support this fully because this sector is like a pyramid scheme,” he said.

He, however, criticised removing taxes on maize imports for the next four months.

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