17 foreigners who are directors of gambling companies in Kenya are set to be kicked out of the country.
This comes after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i signed deportation orders for the officials over allegations of engaging in activities not stated in their work permits.
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Wangui Muchiri said most of the directors hail from Eastern Europe.
“Most East Europeans violated work permits by engaging in business not stated on applications,” Ms. Wangui said.
“The deportation orders are immediate.”
The move comes after the government intensified a crackdown on betting companies that have flouted Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) regulations.
Speaking on Saturday, President Kenyatta vowed his administration would not backtrack on its bid to streamline the gambling industry.
Last week, the government revoked licenses of more than 20 gaming companies over allegations of failing to meet their tax obligations.
The bookmakers affected include SportPesa, Betin, Lucky 2 U, Asian Betting and Gaming Ltd, Kick Off Sports Bar Ltd, and Mozzarbet Kenya Ltd.
Others are Atari Gaming Ltd, Millionnaire Sports Bet Ltd, Premier Betting Ltd, Advanced Innovation Ltd, and Sekunde Technologies.
BCLB said the companies made a cumulative amount of Sh204 billion in 2018 but paid only Sh4 billion in taxes.
Some of the companies including SportPesa and Betin have refuted these claims, saying they remitted taxes as required.
SportPesa said it made Sh20 billion last year and paid Sh6 billion in taxes to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).