The Malawi Gaming Board (MGB) has burnt 66 illegal gaming machines worth millions of kwacha confiscated in various restaurants and drinking joints in Lilongwe and Blantyre.
MGB chief executive officer Master Maliro said the machines were substandard and were smuggled into the country by some Chinese businesspersons.
“There are several factors, which led to the seizure of the machines. One is that the machines did not have meters which indicate how much a machine has made for proper revenue collection. Secondly, the machines were brought in illegally without customs clearance,” he said.
Maliro said the owners of the machines did not follow rules required by the board and were also not licensed.
The machines were impounded some weeks ago and were kept at Malawi Police Service (MPS) headquarters in Lilongwe until when the board, Lilongwe City Council, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and police burnt them along Lilongwe-Salima Road.
According to Maliro, gaming and lottery rules require proper licensing of the places where the machines are mounted and have age restrictions.
“We don’t allow such machines to be mounted in open places where even minors can access them because gaming is addictive and has destroyed and impoverished many people,” he said.