The Ministry of Trade and Industry has confiscated over 174 betting machines commonly known as “Ibiryabarezi” whose owners were found to be working without a license.
During the operation, the regulators also confiscated other 1000 spare parts that were about to be assembled.
Evalde Mulindankaka, Acting Director General of the Promotion and Entrepreneurship Development Department at the Ministry said the confiscated machines were those whose owners couldn’t lacked a license.
“We found a number of operators working without a license and in unauthorized places such as people’s homes,” he said.
The operation to confiscate unlicensed betting machines was conducted under cooperation between local authorities and security agencies.
“We were alerted by whistleblowers who provided information to us. We traced a place where illegal operators were assembling the betting machines in homes and then supplying them to the market,” he added.
Official figures show there are so far over 3000 betting operators across the country.
The Law N° 58/2011 of 31/12/2011 governing gaming activities prohibits activities that engage in unlawful gaming activities which attract administrative fines of Rwf2, 000,000 to Rwf5, 000,000.
In 2016, the Ministry of Trade and Industry temporarily suspended the use of slotting machines following the public outcry that the machines were triggering family conflicts.
Others say betting is partly blamed for recent increase in cases of depression.