Drama in city court as gambling machine exhibit with money goes ‘missing’
There was drama at City Hall court on Wednesday after it emerged that one of the gambling machine impounded during an early morning crackdown had disappeared with cash in it.
This emerged during a case against five people arrested on Munyu Road in the Central Business District during the operation.
The charge sheet was changed to read that they were drunk and disorderly, yet the exhibit presented before court were the gambling machines. The case could not proceed due to the discrepancy.
The suspects were also not accompanied by the area Chief who allegedly disappeared with the gambling machine that had the cash.
During the crackdown carried out by the provincial administration, three payout machines were confiscated but one did not reach the court as exhibit.
Counties Amusement and Gaming Society of Kenya national chairman Mr Sammy Kahiu alleged the Chief was involved in the disappearance of the machine.
“This is not the first time that machines are disappearing. Provincial administrators steal the money and sometimes burn the machines or vandalize them, this is impunity and we want our business protected,” said Mr Kahiu.
The owners of betting and gambling machines have opposed a directive by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’ion a crackdown on the businesses.
Mr Kahiu said the order by Dr Matiang’i will cost them millions and deny county governments revenue.
He added that the businesses are registered entities operating lawfully, and asked the CS to obey court orders and stop illegal crackdown.
“These is a legitimate business with all the licences. The machines have been a source of revenue for both the national and county governments. It is therefore surprising that the government that has asked for taxes from us will frustrate our business,” he said.