Betting board orders gaming firms closed until after polls

Close up  of someone making bets using gambling mobile application on his phone.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

Betting Control and Licensing Board (BLCB) has directed gaming firms to suspend betting from Monday midnight to Tuesday evening to allow people take part in August 9 General Election.

In a message sent to the subscribers, Sportpesa which is one of the gambling companies in Kenya stated that they would suspend the services till 5pm when everyone shall have voted according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) time table.

“Niaje Mdau (how are subscriber), BCLB has directed all the gaming operations to be suspended from Monday midnight to Tuesday at 5pm to enable you vote,” read part of the message sent to subscribers.

The text further read, “Sportpesa services will therefore not be available during this period.”

The decision by the BCLB to suspend gambling to allow people vote has been received well by the members of the public.

Ms Seline Auma who operates a gambling shop in Kisumu town says that the move will allow people to concentrate on voting.

“We welcome the decision, this election is important to us because everyone with a vote must go to the polling station and vote,” she said.

Rodney Ochieng from Migori however had a contrary opinion saying the election should not interfere with other people’s businesses.

“Some of us thrive on selling the betting odds and staying out of business for all those hours’ means losses. We shall however respect the decision by the BCLB,” he complained.

This comes at a time when different candidates have called on the electorate to come out and cast their votes.

The Azimio la Umoja coalition has encouraged the voters to use whistle in what is dubbed “firimbi” movement.

Kenya Kwanza has called on the boda boda operators to ensure all the elderly and the sick are taken to the voting centres in order to cast their votes.

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