Reprieve for betting firms as Uhuru reconsiders review on gaming tax

Reprieve for betting firms as Uhuru reconsiders review on gaming tax
  • President Kenyatta said his government’s intention is not to bring down the gaming industry but to tame and regulate the thriving business by putting in place the right measures.
  • He said his government had listened to the cries by industry players and would soon open a window for negotiation to look on how to regulate the industry.
  • During the budget reading, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich proposed to raise the tax on all betting and lottery companies to 50 per cent of gross profits from 7.5 per cent.
  • Rotich said the rapid growth of the betting industry in a loosely regulated environment has hurt the young and vulnerable.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has hinted that his government may consider reviewing the 50 per cent tax proposed on betting companies in the 2017-18 budget read on March 30 cushion the gaming industry.

Speaking during the launch of the public information portal at KICC yesterday, President Kenyatta said his government’s intention is not to bring down the gaming industry but to tame and regulate the thriving business by putting in place the right measures.

He said his government had listen to the cries by industry players and would soon open a window for negotiation to look on how to regulate the industry.

“I know there is a big cry in the gaming industry. We can still sit down and engage with affected parties. But as a responsible government, we had to ensure that we make it difficult for Kenyans to bet,” the President Kenyatta said.

During the budget reading Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich proposed to raise the tax on all betting and lottery companies to 50 per cent of gross profits from 7.5 per cent.

Rotich said the rapid growth of the betting industry in a loosely regulated environment has hurt the young and vulnerable.

“The extra revenue will fund sports, culture and the arts,” Rotich told MPs.

While echoing Cabinet Secretary’s sentiments, Mr Kenyatta said there was need for strict laws to be put in place, saying the betting craze has had a devastating effect on school going children and it required to be tamed.

READ MORE: Proposed Bill seeks to curb money laundering, increase revenue collection from gambling firms

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