Daily Archives: February 11, 2017

Student leader says ‘black-on-black crime is not a thing,’ wants to censor those who say it is – The College Fix

Posted: February 11, 2017 at 8:58 am

Student leader says black-on-black crime is not a thing, wants to censor those who say it is

Alternative facts sure are popular on campus these days.

A student government leader at Regis University went so far as to deny that black people commit crime against each other, or at least that the subject is worth discussing (that would be news to former President Obama).

Campus Reform reports that the Jesuit university in Denver just concludedAnti-Oppression Week, which included sessions such as Introduction to Privilege and Oppression for Teachers and The Oppressive Power of Language.

But the most head-scratching comments came fromJack Flotte, director of the student governmentsSocial Justice and Spirituality Committeeandwhite male.

Heaccused his fellow whites of white fragility in leading a Tuesday session titled White Guilt, White Feelings, and the Struggle for Liberation:

He then outlined several paradigms that he considers counterproductive, starting with the demand that white people quit mythologizing black-on-black murder by isolating statistics, boldly claiming that Black-on-black murder is not a thing. Its just a bad argument. Black-on-black crime is not a thing. Dont talk about it. Shut it down when people talk about it.

Ironically, Flotte encouraged his audience to research everything. They could start with Obamas remarks about black-on-black crime at a televised town hall:

It is absolutely true that the murder rate in the African-American community is way out of whack compared to the general population, Obama said. And both the victims and the perpetrators are black, young black men.

Though faculty werent ordered to attend the events, Anthropology Prof. Damien Thompson who led or co-led three events encouraged his colleagues to go to as many events as possible and said he would attend like 98 percent of them, according to Campus Reform.

The publication also notes this Friday event listing prodding faculty to attend:

10:30am 12:00pm Steps of Dayton Memorial Library. Call to Action Rally (This event in a student planned and organized rally; faculty, administration and staff who have not attended one of Thursdays faculty anti-oppression training sessions, should attend the anti-oppression training that begins at 9:00am). Multicultural Affairs Committee.

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Student leader says ‘black-on-black crime is not a thing,’ wants to censor those who say it is – The College Fix

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Education Expert: Betsy DeVos Should Address Local Control Before School Choice – Breitbart News

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In a column at The Hill, Robert Holland explains that while the teachers unions and grandstanding Senate Democrats received much of the attention in the controversy over DeVos, the magnitude of the opposition facing the new secretary from the grassroots base of her own party is not a factor to be ignored. In fact, Holland says DeVos could dispel a significant portion of the controversy surrounding her confirmation by letting these grassroots parent groups know she intends to use her new authority to free state and local governments from the oppression of federal control.

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Holland writes:

As incongruous as it may seem, given DeVos championing of a parents right to select the best possible school for a child, parents organized in grassroots groups in all 50 states were among the most adamant critics of President Donald Trumps nominee to lead federal education policy.

On social media, these groups have names such as Stop Common Core in Florida (or New Jersey, or Oregon, or Michigan, or insert your own state). Their reach is enormous. The concern for many of these activists boils down to this: While choice may be desirable, it is not feasible when big government imposes uniform requirements on all schools for such central policies as curricula, testing, and teacher evaluation.

Where is the choice, Holland asserts, when a child movesfrom a school in one zip code to another, but the standards, curriculum, and testing remain the same due to federal mandates?

Calling attention as well to reports of Common Core supporters on her staff, Holland observes that grassroots parent activists see DeVos longstanding support of powerful organizations that pushed Common Core standards on schools nationwide as rendering null and void any choice that might emanate from Washington, DC under her leadership.

He urges the new secretary to invite onto her staff as well education scholars who understand the federal government has no constitutional authority to dictate education policy, and thatthe U.S. education department should be phased out of existence.

Holland also confirms what the parent groups have been saying all along, despite touting to the contrary by Republican leadership: the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which replaced No Child Left Behind places final control over state standards and tests with the federal education department.

Observing these factors, Holland urges DeVos to make local control of education and not school choice her first order of business.

A push for federal school vouchers in the current regulatory climate could backfire big-time either by flopping in Congress or, if enacted, drawing more private and religiously affiliated schools into the freedom-killing Common Core web, he warns. Having a dedicated school choice activist as U.S. education secretary does not alter the reality choices are properly made in communities and homes, not in Washington, DC.

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Mexico Should Ask Trump to Pay For The Drug War – AlterNet

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Mexican Marines raid the Zetas Photo Credit: Creative Commons/By Borderland Beat Reporter Buggs

Attention deficit disorder isnt usually a welcome presidential attribute, but Mexicans can be thankful that Donald Trump has temporarily shifted his focus away from their country to pick fights instead with Iran, the EU, China, California, and the U.S. news media.

The last time Trump addressed Mexico, right after the election, the peso fell 17 percent. Within days of his inauguration, Trump demanded that Mexico pay for a border wall, prompting cancellation of his planned summit meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pea Nieto.

As former Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhanlamented, it took only one week of bilateral engagement between the new U.S. administration and Mexico to throw the relationship into a tailspin. That relationship would be better if Trump had stuck to theview he expressedin November 2015: I dont care about Mexico, honestly. I really dont care about Mexico.

Someday soon, however, Trump will rediscover his interest in Mexico, and relations will likely suffer again. But Mexico need not take his abuse lying down. As the buyer of more than aquartertrilliondollars in U.S. exportsthe second largest market in the world for U.S. goodsMexico has some leverage if Trump tries to play rough with tariffs and trade.

And if Trump persists in sending a bill to Mexico City for his wall, Pea should seriously consider sending a bill in return to Washington to pay for the U.S. drug war.

The high cost to Mexico of the U.S. drug war

For years now, Mexico has paid an extraordinarily high price in lives and social disruption for Washingtons insistence that North Americas drug problem be tackled south of the border, where the drugs are grown and transported, rather than primarily in clinics and halfway houses at home to treat the medical and psychological issues of users.

Successive administrations, starting with President Nixon, have demanded ever tougher border controls, aerial spraying programs, and DEA-backed anti-cartel operations in Mexico. All their efforts and sacrifices have been for naught. U.S. residentscurrentlyexport up to $29 billion in cash to Mexican traffickers each year to buy marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin.

Forcing that trade underground has taken a terrible toll on Mexico in terms of violence, corruption, and social upheaval. Since 2006, when President Felipe Caldern ordered his military to join the war on drug traffickers, Mexico has lost about200,000 livesand 30,000 more have disappeared,dwarfingthe civilian death toll in Afghanistan and Iraq over that period.

The majority of them were victims of criminal organizations, but human rights organizations also reportsoaring rates of human rights violations, including torture and killing, committed by security forces.

The2016 Global Peace Index, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace, estimates the total cost of violence in Mexico at $273 billion, or 14 percent of GDP, with no end in sight.Direct fiscal costsof fighting the war on crime were about $32 billion in 2015 alone. Yet the United States has contributed only about $2.5 billion since fiscal 2008 to Mexicos drug war, under the so-called Merida Initiative.

Mexicos pain shows no signs of easing. New York Timesreportedin December that Mexico suffered more than 17,000 homicides in the first 10 months of last year, the highest total since 2012. The relapse in security has unnerved Mexico and led many to wonder whether the country is on the brink of a bloody, all-out war between criminal groups, it said.

Time for an alternative

In his last phone call with Mexican President Pea,Trump reportedly complained, You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with. We are willing to help with that big-league, but they have to be knocked out and you have not done a good job knocking them out. According to one disputed account,Trump threatenedto send U.S. troops south of the border if Mexico doesnt do more to stop the drug problem.

Pea can continue to do Washingtons bidding,ensuring his political demise, or he can challenge Trump by asking why Mexico should fight North Americas drug war on its own soil and at its own expense. If he goes the latter route, hell have plenty of good company.

Former heads of state from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, along with other distinguished members of theGlobal Commission on Drug Policy, have called for normalization of drugseliminating black markets and incentives for violence by legalizing individual possession and cultivation of drugs while instituting public health regulations. They note that such programs have succeeded admirably in Portugal and the Netherlands at reducing both the criminal and public health costs of drug abuse.

The harms created through implementing punitive drug laws cannot be overstated when it comes to both their severity and scope, they assert in their 2016 report, Advancing Drug Policy Reform. Thus, we need new approaches that uphold the principles of human dignity, the right to privacy and the rule of law, and recognize that people will always use drugs. In order to uphold these principles all penalties both criminal and civilmust be abolished for the possession of drugs for personal use.

Support for decriminalization is growing in Mexico, where the supreme court in 2015approvedgrowing and smoking marijuana for personal use. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox nowadvocateslegalizing all drugs over a transition period of up to a decade.

Jorge Castaeda, a former Mexican foreign minister, recentlyopined, Mexico should take advantage of Californias decision to legalize recreational marijuana. Regardless of Mr. Trumps victory, the approval of the proposition in the United States most populous state makes Mexicos war on drugs ridiculous. What is the purpose of sending Mexican soldiers to burn fields, search trucks and look for narco-tunnels if, once our marijuana makes it into California, it can be sold at the local 7-Eleven?

Criticsrightly point out that what works in the Netherlands wont necessarily solve Mexicos problems. Its powerful drug gangs have diversified into a host of other violent criminal enterprises. They control territory, intimidate or corrupt law enforcement, and kill with impunity. Legalizing drug sales wont end their criminal ways, but it could erode their profits and let police focus on universally despised crimes with direct victimsmurder, kidnapping, extortion and the like.

As Mexican journalist Jos Luis Pardo Veirasremarkedlast year, Decriminalizing drug use will not fix a deeply rooted problem in this country, but it will allow Mexicans to differentiate between drugs and the war on drugs, between drug users and drug traffickers. This is the first step in acknowledging that a different approach is possible.

As for Trump, let him build his wall and see if that keeps out all the drugs. If not, maybe by then Mexico will be able to offer some useful advice on how to fight the drug problem not with guns, but with more enlightened policies.

Jonathan Marshall is an independent scholar and journalist.

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Trump on Drug War: ‘We’re Going to be Ruthless … We Have No Choice’ – CNSNews.com

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Trump on Drug War: 'We're Going to be Ruthless … We Have No Choice'
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(CNSNews.com) — Speaking before a prominent group of police chiefs and sheriffs from across the nation, President Donald Trump said his administration will fight a "ruthless" war against illegal drugs and assist state and local officials in stopping

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Rights agency calls for sober talk in war on drugs – Daily Nation

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Saturday February 11 2017

Fahim Ali, one of the people undergoing rehabilitation at Kisauni Level Four Hospital, talks to a Nation reporter on February 8, 2017. He wants the government to deal with drug trafficking. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

It is business as usual at drug dens in Mombasa despite the government’s tough talk against traffickers and promise to eradicate the menace.

Hundreds of drug addicts are still camped in some of the notorious dens in the county, with little being done to rehabilitate them, the Saturday Nation can reveal.

A spot check at drug dens in Kisauni, Old Town, Shimanzi and near the Coast General Hospital showed that the addicts have been left to fight for themselves despite assurances by the government to intervene.

The addicts still mill around the areas, injecting themselves with drugs in broad daylight.

According to the National Authority for the Campaign against Drug Abuse (Nacada) and US anti-narcotics Agency, some 96,752 people are addicted to hard drugs, including cocaine and heroin at the Coast, 40,000 of them are students aged between 12 and 17 years.

In August last year during his tour of the Coast, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed immediate crackdown on drugs, dealers and their dens and the rehabilitation of users.

He told local politicians to work with security forces and Nacada to ensure all drug dens are eliminated in the same manner illicit brews were destroyed in Central Kenya and Nairobi.

The President gave them a two-week ultimatum to set up a drug rehabilitation centre at the National Youth Service (NYS).

But six months down the line, nothing has been done.

On Friday, when the Saturday Nation visited the camp, construction of a perimeter wall, which began immediately after the directive for the purpose of securing the camp to ward off bad elements was still incomplete.

The wall is actually not a big problem because it is 90 per cent complete. We are waiting for Nacada to bring equipment and the county to send counsellors and medical personnel, an official at the NYS camp said on condition of anonymity.

‘JOHO TARGETED’ But speaking in an interview in Mombasa, a director at Nacada, Ms Farida Rashid, said the programme would kick off soon.

Currently we have addicts who are being rehabilitated at the Coast General Hospital, but soon we will open the NYS centre and take in others as planned, she said.

Last week, both Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto reiterated their determination to arrest drug dealers.

But this degenerated into a war of words with Governor Hassan Joho, who claimed that he was being targeted.

The governor on Tuesday said the two leaders were not honest in the fight against drug lords, maintaining that the government was bent on derailing his political career in the pretext of fighting drugs in Mombasa.

He claimed that during the runup to the 2013 General Election, the same narrative was built up, with the view of discrediting him as a leader.

But even as the war of words intensified, those affected have appealed to authorities to come to their aid.

We were told we would be rehabilitated since last year but this is empty talk. We are still suffering. It is not that we like this life but there seems to be nobody to help us, Fahim Ali, a drug user in Frere Town, Kisauni, one of the hardest hit areas, said.

Ms Neema Said, who has been using drugs for more than 10 years, said politicising the matter had made matters worse, adding that those who were interested in being rehabilitated are back in the dens.

Yesterday, members of the civil society added their voice on the matter calling for a sober debate on fight against drug trafficking.

We are doubtful the government will measure up to the task and eradicate the drug menace. We will wait to see if the commitment will go beyond the 2017 election, Suba Churchill, Convener of Civil Society Reference Group, said in Mombasa.

Mr Shahbal said that a senior ODM official was a beneficiary of proceeds from the sale of drugs.

Two Seychelles nationals and two South Africans were arrested.

Trump’s initial decree fell afoul of the law.

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In Trump’s ‘ruthless’ vow, experts see a return to the days of the drug war – Washington Post

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In a speech before law enforcement leaders this week, President Trump vowed to be ruthless in the fight against drugs that are poisoning our people. Trump’s comments represent a sharp departure from the Obama administration, which publicly disavowedthe harsh anti-drug rhetoric of previous decades in an effort to emphasize treatment of drug users overpunishment.

We’re going to stop the drugs from pouring in, Trump told the assembled members of the Major Cities Chiefs Association on Wednesday. We’re going to stop those drugs from poisoning our youth, from poisoning our people. We’re going to be ruthless in that fight. We have no choice. And we’re going to take that fight to the drug cartels and work to liberate our communities from their terrible grip of violence.

[In executive actions, President Trump vows crackdown on violent crime. Is America as unsafe as he thinks?]

Aside from the cartels, Trump did not elaborate on who would be at the receiving end of that ruthlessness. In a campaign speech in New Hampshire last October, Trump outlined the drug control policies he supported, including expanded treatment options for drug users and better access to anti-overdose drugs.

He also called for increasing mandatory minimum prison sentences for the most seriousdrug offenders, aggressive prosecution of drug traffickers, and cracking down on shipping loopholes that he said allowed countries such as China to send dangerous drugs to the United States via the Postal Service.

In that speech, Trump also criticized the Obama administration for commuting the sentences of record numbers of high level drug traffickers, many of them kingpins. He said continuing that strategy would amount to turning our streets back over to gangs, drug cartels, and armed career criminals.

This rhetoric is dangerous, disturbing, and dishonest, Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in astatement. History has taught us that cracking down on drugs and building walls will not stop the supply or use of drugs. It mostly causes the death and destruction of innocent lives.

The White House did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Nearly 80 percent of Americans favor eliminating mandatory minimum drug sentences like the ones Trump called for expanding.

A 2014 Pew Research Center survey showed that Americans strongly prefer treating drug usersoverincarcerating them, 3 to 1. But federal policy has been slow to reflect that preference.

In the past decade, federal focushas shiftedsomewhatfrom supply-side anti-drug policies seizing drug shipments, incarcerating dealers and arresting drug users toward a more demand-side approach that uses substance abuse treatment and prevention programs to stop people from using or becoming addicted to drugs in the first place.

Ruthlessness is a great virtue for a gangster or a warlord, said drug policy expert Mark Kleiman of New York University. Not so useful for the leader of a republic.

Many public health experts agree that the war on drugs was a failure.The thinking behind supply-side drug policies is that by reducing the supply of drugs they become more expensive, and therefore less likely to be used and abused. But a 2013 study in the British Medical Journal found that since 1990, drug prices have decreased while drug purity has increased, making it easier and more affordable than ever to get high.

These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing, the authors conclude.

From 1991through 2001, when many of these supply-side policies were in full force, the rate of illicit drug use among American teenagers increased sharply. Over the same period, the rate of teen cigarette use fell slightly, and the rate of underage alcohol consumption dropped sharply.

From a public health standpoint, theprimary difference between illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco is that the latter two substances are legal for adult use.

A number ofexperts believe supply-side drug policies can be effective if used judiciously and in conjunction with other policies.

We overlearned the lesson that supply control doesn’t work and failed to apply it to prescription opioids when we should have, Jonathan Caulkins of Carnegie Mellon University said in an interview. He said he believes this contributed to the federal government’s inadequate response to pill mills and other criminal excesses in the supply of prescription opioids.

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Do you have a mobile gambling/gaming problem? – KMTV

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Tips for people who think they might need to stop or slow down

What Are the Warning Signs?

Problem gambling is not a bad habit or a moral weakness. It is a serious condition that affects you, your family, your friends, and your job. Learn to spot the warning signs:

At Work:

At Home:

With Friends:

Help is Available!

Spouses, partners, and family members of problem gamblers often feel frustrated, angry, sad, ashamed, and isolated. Depression and stress-related illness are common. Fortunately, help is available. Just thinking about talking to someone about a gambling problem can be scary, but knowing where to start can help you find the courage to have the conversation.

A problem gambler doesnt necessarily need to hit bottom to decide to get help. To get help for you or someone you know, call the 24/7 help line, 1-866-322-1407.

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Gambling Responsibly – New York Times

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Gambling Responsibly
New York Times
5), discusses the important addiction services provided by the Queens Center for Excellence to troubled bettors at Resorts World Casino New York City, but not the casino's unwavering commitment to promote responsible gambling, which includes a …

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The world’s biggest gamblers – The Economist (blog)

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LAS VEGAS may be synonymous with gambling, but the industrys biggest expo is actually held in London, and wraps up today. Exhibitors in over 3,000 stands advertise the latest products designed to part punters from their cash, ranging from gaming apps to slot machines and virtual-reality games. As in other businesses, firms that were quick to embrace new technology have reaped rewards: online gaming is the industrys fastest-growing sector, and accounted for 11% of the $385bn of gambling profits posted in 2016. But unlike companies that sell less controversial services, courting government regulators appears to be just as important as luring bettors for the bottom line.

To the general public, Australia hardly leaps to mind as a gambling hotbed. Yet industry insiders know it is far and away their most lucrative market: according to H2 Gambling Capital (H2G), a consultancy, betting losses per resident adult there amounted to $990 last year. That is 40% higher than Singapore, the runner-up, and around double the average in other Western countries. The most popular form of gaming in Australia is on ubiquitous electronic poker machines, or pokies, which are more prevalent there than anywhere else. Although the devices are legal in many other markets, bet sizes are usually capped at modest levels. By contrast, in Australia, which began to deregulate the industry in the 1980s, punters can lose as much as $1,150 an hour.

Despite Australias profitability, the high level of existing gambling penetration and relatively small population of 23m make it a relatively mature market without much room for expansion. The biggest prize by far is the United States, where bettors total losses reached $117bn last year. The untapped potential is enormous: Americans wagered $150bn illegally on sports alone last year, by one estimate. However, the countrys Puritan tendencies have kept the industrys growth in check, and spending per person has remained static for a decade. Online gaming, which accounts for a third of spending in some countries, is legal in just three states after a federal clampdown in 2011, while sports betting is fully legal in just one. As a result, Ireland and Finland, which have opened up online markets, recently overtook America in spending per person. Singapore also keeps a tight lid on the range of legal betting options, and has seen industry revenues fall off as a result.

A different type of regulation has curbed gaming in China. Just three years ago, H2G expected China (including Macau and Hong Kong) to surpass America as the worlds biggest market in 2020. But in 2013 the government announced a crackdown on corruption, which prevented Chinese government officials from entertaining in the casinos of Macau. The industrys profits in China promptly fell by 20%, and have barely recovered. That precipitous decline caused overall global winnings to drop in 2015the first dip since 2003, when H2Gs data begin.

In contrast, gaming firms may be set to hit the jackpot in Japan. Although the country is still the worlds third-largest gambling market, annual revenues have been declining steadily since 2003 amid tight regulation. Ingenious firms have come up with work-arounds to remain within the law: pachinko, a popular game akin to pinball, avoids being classified as gambling by giving special prizes, which can be traded for cash at kiosks separate from the pachinko parlours. Such subterfuge may no longer be necessary, thanks to a law passed in December that will permit casinos for the first time. Foreign operators are expected to line up to build them. H2G estimates that they could swell winnings by 50% in the first year of opening. That is good news for the industry, if not for Japanese punters wallets.

Daily chart: Chinas roads and workplaces seem to be getting less lethal

Daily chart: Migration and labour shortages in Asian countries

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Kenya: Gambling in Kenya Gets Out of Hand – AllAfrica.com

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By Njiraini Muchira

No industry has captured the imagination of the Kenyan economy in the past three years like betting. Concerned about its runaway growth, the government imposed higher taxes but the proliferation of gaming outlets across the country continued.

The government, through the Kenya Revenue Authority, then turned to gaming equipment: No more importation unless authorised by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).

“Any further importation of such gaming devices must have express clearance from the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government,” said a KRA statement.

BCLB falls under the Ministry of Interior.

BCLB chairman Anthony Kimani Kung’u told The EastAfrican that the majority of the gaming machines entering Kenya do not meet international standards.

“Restricting importation is part of our fight against illegal machines, mostly from China,” he said.

He added that the move is to ensure that unscrupulous businessmen do not take advantage of unsuspecting Kenyans.

There has been a proliferation of gaming equipment in estates and other social places.

Backstreet gambling dens

According to the chairman of the Association of Gaming Operators of Kenya, Ronald Karauri, the increase in the machines has tarnished the image of the betting and gaming industry.

“As an association, we have been telling BCLB to crackdown on these machines because they are encouraging irresponsible gaming,” he said.

Mr Karauri, who is also the chief executive of sports betting firm SportPesa, added that lack of a modern and progressive law to regulate the industry is fuelling the growth of backstreet gambling dens.

Currently, the industry operates under the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, which stakeholders contend is outdated owing to the evolution of the industry particularly in the use of mobile and online platforms for betting.

Kenyan legislator Jakoyo Midiwo drafted the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2016, to provide a legal framework for regulating and controlling gambling activities.

The Bill also seeks to promote the development of a responsible industry, protect young and excluded persons from the negative effects of gambling and prevent gambling from being a source of crime and from being used for money laundering.

The Bill has however met with opposition from BCLB and industry players on the basis that it does not incorporate the views of stakeholders, and that it is intended to end gambling.

“While we agree the industry needs a modern law, the Bill is not sincere in its object of regulating but will only kill the industry,” said Mr Karauri.

Kenya currently has more than 30 licensed betting firms and casinos, although only a few are in operation.

A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that the yearly turnover of the sports betting industry in Kenya is worth $20 million, and will reach $50 million in 2020 as demand grows.

The formal Kenyan betting industry, which paid $28.3 million in taxes in 2015, is ranked third in Africa after South Africa and Nigeria.

In the 2016/17 Finance Bill, the government increased taxes on betting, lotteries and gaming after introducing a betting tax charged at a rate of 7.5 per cent of the gaming revenue, lottery tax chargeable at a rate of five per cent and a gaming tax chargeable at a rate of 12 per cent of the gaming revenue.

Kenya currently has more than 30 licensed betting firms and casinos, although only a few are in operation.

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