Gaming industry ‘investors’ the biggest losers after gov’t imposes stiff tax

Gaming industry ‘investors’ the biggest losers after gov’t imposes stiff tax
  • The government plans to impose a uniform 50 per cent for all gaming categories.
  • The move is aimed at curbing the betting vice that has taken the nation by storm.
  • proceeds from the initiative will be channeled towards supporting the development of sports, culture, and art in the country

Kenyans have vowed to continue engaging in betting activities despite the betting and gaming industry in the country being dealt a blow after the government increased the taxes charged on betting, lottery, gaming, and competition companies by over 22 per cent of the 2017-2018 budget.

“Over the years we have seen prices of alcohol doubled but that has never prevented Kenyans a from purchasing drinks. I don’t think the new rates with bar us from betting, actually, we shall do it even more,” said one user.

READ ALSO: Philippines betting firm branches into Kenyan market

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, while reading the budget in Parliament on Thursday, March 30, 2017, said the betting and gaming industry has grown tremendously in recent times, adding that the sector is inadequately regulated.

“Betting and gaming have become widespread in our society in an environment that is inadequately regulated,” he said.

Treasury CS Henry Rotich outside the Treasury Building before presenting the 2015-16 budget to Parliament last year (Photo: The Star Kenya)

The CS further noted that the expansion of the industry has had negative social effects on society, especially on the youths and vulnerable members of the society.

He proposed that the taxes be raised from the current 7.5 per cent (betting), 12 per cent (lottery), 15 per cent (gaming) and 15 per cent (competition) to a uniform 50 per cent for all categories.

“All proceeds of these will be put in the newly-created National Sports, Culture, and Arts Fund to help support the development of sports, culture, and art in the country,” he said.

READ ALSO: News highlights-March 30 2017 National Assembly approves Ksh 2.6 trillion 2017/2018 budget

One user said betting is a source of unemployment in a country where the level of unemployment has skyrocketed.

Betting firms led by Sportspesa have hijacked Kenya Sports scene will injecting millions of shillings into various sports teams and even becoming the official sponsors of the country’s  most popular clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.The Pevans owned company is just one of the congested field of online betting sites, the common ones include, Betway, Betin, , Betyetu, Mcheza, Betika, Bet365, Eazibet, Lucky2u, betPawa, Justbet, EliteBet, just to name a few.


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