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Over 30 betting machines set ablaze as war against gambling intensifies in Thika.

Some of the betting machines set ablaze in Kiganjo estate in an operation led by Snr. Chief Daniel Waiguru of Makongeni Location on Wednesday.

Thika West administration has intensified the war against illegal gambling as it strives to keep school-going children and youth out of the gambling dens that have sprouted in estates across the sub-county.

On Wednesday, at least 33 betting machines were set ablaze in Kiganjo Estate, Makongeni Location in an intensive operation led by Snr. Chief Daniel Waiguru.

Sources privy to Thika Town Today indicate that all chief in the area have been given up to Friday (tomorrow) to ensure that all gambling dens and illegal machines were gotten rid of. We were also made to understand that the authorities resulted to destroying the machines after their efforts to fight the menace were rendered useless due to frequent court injunctions obtained by the gamblers to stop their operations.

According to our sources, no one has been licenced to operate such businesses across the country apart from a few regulated cases in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu cities.

“All these gambling dens are illegal and most of these machines are operated by locals on behalf of foreigners who are in the country illegally,” explained our source.

He added that gambling, had contributed truancy among students with some ending up dropping out from school.

“The machines have led to students stealing coins for betting. They have contributed to a lot immorality and crime. Families are breaking up because both sets of parents are also getting hooked into this gambling,” he said.

Some of the residents we talked to admitted that the betting machines had attracted women who now used money from the family budget to feed their habit.

In December last year, police raided two gambling dens in Kiganjo estate and arrested operators. 

They confiscated 10 machines owned by people from other counties.
Minors were found at some of the dens. Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina said gambling had fueled theft and drug abuse.

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