Operator trade association official accuses MP Jakoyo Midiwo of deliberately misinforming lawmakers in the debate on the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill
In a scathing op-ed in the Daily Nation newspaper this weekend, Alloyce Omondi, acting chief executive of the Association of Gaming Operators in Kenya, methodically and point by point dismantled critical statements made by Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo in the debate on the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2016, saying it was painful if not laughable to watch Midiwo "blatantly mislead his colleagues and the public" in portraying the local gambling industry as in a major crisis.
Omondi accused Midiwo, who has crafted proposed regulatory changes to the industry, of skewing the facts in his presentation, and illustrated how by rebutting 16 different Midiwo statements that ranged from accusing gambling companies of "pilferaging" from the government by not paying taxes to the dangers of infant gambling, and questionable guesstimates about how much gambling operators are making in profits.
The full article can be accessed here: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/midiwo-bill-on-betting-appears-headed-for-rejection/1056-3818738-bd5nrk/index.html
Omondi also took another MP – Samuel Gichingi – to task. Gichingi was quoted in local daily newspapers as saying he had no idea gaming companies paid tax! Omondi commented that he is not alone in his ignorance of the industry, writing:
"Sadly, he is not alone. There have been many outright lies told, half-truths disseminated and misinformed media reports published, such that the industry has been left stigmatised."
Among the more outrageous statements Midiwo has made in publicising and driving his bill in parliament:
"Even a five-year-old child can gamble on phone."
The Kenya Revenue Authority has no idea how much tax is due from betting, and gambling operators have greater daily revenues than the Authority.
Gambling in Russia has been entirely abolished, and there is no online gambling in the USA.
"In London you can only bet within a certain radius … if you leave the set radius your phone automatically switches off the gaming app."
"Kenyans are dying … gambling their lives away."
Unsubstantiated claims that: "There is a lot of tax evasion and money laundering."
Misrepresentations regarding the scale of sponsorships for local football clubs by SportPesa.
Exaggerated claims regarding foreign holdings in the local money transfer services provider Safaricom.
Gambling operators in Kenya are opposing Midiwo's proposals, and his bill appears to be headed for rejection… Omondi's fact-based op-ed may just give it the last push over the precipice.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa