The gamblers had until Friday to withdraw their funds after a directive was issued on Thursday asking all telecommunication companies to stop all mobile and online payments related to gambling. As such, customers had only 48 hours to withdraw their funds.
“This is to permit you to allow gamers of the subject firms to withdraw any funds they may have deposited in the material period within Forty-Eight (48) hours from the date hereof, and duly notify them of the same,” a letter dated July 11 to Safaricom, signed by Liti Wambua, an acting director at the Interior Ministry states in part.
The letter also states that the action has been taken because the betting companies have failed to comply with the regulations.
“The licenses of operators were not renewed for the period 1July 1 2019 to June 30, 2020,” it reads.
In this entire episode of cracking down on the gambling industry, Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi and his Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho have also warned gambling operators that they need to comply with the regulations or they would be losing their licenses permanently.
The government in Kenya has been harsh on the gambling industry. Recently, the BCLC banned all outdoor gambling adverts; however, the decision was ruled unconstitutional by the High Court.
Towards the end of the last month Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’ i issued a directive seeking vetting of betting companies and gambling establishments in the country. Following the new directive, the country’s Betting Control and Licensing Board suspended the renewal of operational licenses for 19 betting companies.