County Government of Kiambu

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Gambling means taking risky action in the hope of a desired result or playing games of chance for money. No one knows exactly how much money is involved in gambling in Kenya. What we do know is that the Kenyan people are spending more on gambling each and every day; that, in so doing, they are putting up the money for the corruption of public 'officials and the vicious activities that sprout from this.

Investigation this past year by an unnamed source, has disclosed without any shadow of doubt that corruption and racketeering, financed largely by gambling, are weakening the vitality and strength of this nation. While we do have great problems in estimating the total amount gambled illegally, we can get some idea from significant records made available by the Betting, Control and Licensing Board through raids.

The activity was mainly to conduct an operation to obtain the mini gaming machines as they are becoming too many and are also not licensed. To obtain a license one is expected to go to the BCLB, then get a certain permit to operate in certain areas or counties. The area of focus was Weiteithie then proceeded to Juja. 25 mini gaming machines were confiscated. This operation will in time trickle down to all the other counties so as to eradicate this vice completely.

To try and safe guard the people’s interest the government has come up with laws that make this kind of operation controllable. The laws themselves, of course, while enabling the government to do a better job, will not make the final difference. That must come from the extra effort now being made by all the law-enforcement agencies and many local police officials, and from the support which this effort gets from the Kenyan people themselves.

The dishonesty of the gambling operations are bad enough, but what really concerns me is the great wealth of the racketeers and the power that goes with it—the power to corrupt police and public officials, and in some instances, gain political control of an area.

The fundamental strength, of our democracy, which is based on respect for the law, is at stake. Individual citizens, by working to elect honest public officials and raise policemen's pay, can make a major difference in this matter.

University of Nairobi University of Nairobi

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