Mombasa residents seek closure of casinos in estates, near schools

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Mombasa residents and a lobby group want the county government to crackdown on unlicensed gambling stations and casinos in residential areas and near schools. This is after reports emerged that some Chinese businessmen are operating gambling stations in Jomvu, Kisauni and Changamwe sub counties.

The residents and the Commission for Human Rights and Justice raised the alarm over the establishments where, they claimed, schoolchildren spend long hours gambling.

“We want the joints shut down or we will take the law into our hands. Our youth are losing focus by engaging in gambling,” said Commission for Human Rights and Justice executive director Julius Ogogoh.

Some traders, including Chinese nationals, run illegal betting joints in most parts of the county. Two weeks ago, the police arrested three people in Ganahola, Mikindani, after they lost their cash during a gambling game and got into a brawl with the Chinese traders. However, Changamwe OCPD Stephen Chateka declined to confirm or deny the arrests when contacted.

According to the residents, cases of truancy have increased sharply due to schoolchildren opting to gamble at the various Chinese-owned outlets in the various estates in the county.

The issue reached the Mombasa County Assembly after Miritini ward representative Kibwana Swaleh pushed for legislation of a law to control the gambling businesses.

“We want licenses of the uncontrolled gambling within the villages by Chinese revoked, this matter is getting out of hand it is time we take the bull by the horn,” he said.

The Committee on Youth, Sports and Gender was given two weeks to investigate the matter.

During the recent public forum on Finance Bill 2016/2017 in Tononoka county officials were taken to task over the gambling businesses. County tourism official Simon Mbaru said the county government would decide what do with the gambling businesses.

“We don’t license them. They get licenses from the national government. However, as a county we will sit down and find a solution. Kajiado County government decided to shut down the businesses,” he said.

Source: Business daily- http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate-News/Mombasa-residents-seek-closure-of-casinos-in-estates/539550-3391470-xghcaw/index.html

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