By CGN Reporter
Police in Kakamega County have destroyed over 40 gambling machines valued at Sh3.28million as a single machine goes at a street value of Sh80,000.
The gambling machines were set a blaze at Kakamega Central police station in an operation that was led by area OCPD Joseph Chebnii and County Administration Police Commander, David Kabena.
According to Mr Kabena, the AP commander, the gambling machines were impounded within Kakamega Central Sub county.
“Today we have set ablaze a total of 41 gambling machines which goes at a street value of Sh3.28million. Late last year we impounded and set a blaze over 213 lotto machines that were worth Sh17.04million,” said Kabena.
Kabena said only the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) is mandated to license betting firms that engage in legal business, saying business permits from County Governments is not a license to do such illegal business.
Mr Kabena said as the county security team, they will not relent in cracking down in cracking down on business entities operating the gambling machines and its proprietors prosecuted.
“These lottery joints are a hiding place for criminals and they are the major cause for the high dropout rate of school going children and teenage pregnancies. We have also received cases where university and college students lose money meant for paying school fees to gambling,” said Kabena.
He added “Some house helps in the county have lost their jobs after going to bet with the money they were sent by their bosses and lose it to the gamblers in the process. Such cases have been brought to the police station and we will not condone the vice,”
Kakamega Central OCPD Mr Chebii reiterated that the public should help the police in curbing the menace volunteering information to the police on rogue businessman who operate the gambling machines illegally so that they can arrested.
Chebii said the 41 machines that were impounded yesterday were being operated inside shops and drinking dens by unscrupulous businessmen.
The OCPD appealed to anyone still in possession of the gambling machine to surrender them to the nearest police station or at a chief’s office voluntarily, adding that those who will not heed to the call will face the full force of the law.
“All chiefs and assistant chiefs are also put on notice that anyone found protecting the cartels with gambling machines will be arrested and prosecuted for aiding the trade,” said Chebii.
Kakamega Deputy County Commissioner Dennis Ogolla said they launched a mop up exercise targeting all the gambling machines and betting business.
“We discovered many gambling dens were mushrooming up again just a couple of months after we closed them down and impounded all the machines which were later burned,” he said.
He regretted that many young people were hooked to gambling and betting in the area which are a recipe to insecurity.