As the president of Kenya signed into law a measure that increases all gambling taxes to 35 percent, an organisation is protesting the rates.
Kenya.- Consumer Downtown Association (CDA) presented a petition to the office of the President Uhuru Kenyatta, in order to complain about the increase in gambling taxes that he signed into law last week.
The executive director of the CDA, Japheth Ogutu, said that the tax hike will hurt regular consumers that are subscribed to the products and services of the lottery, as Standard Media reported. Ogutu believes that the State should ask stakeholders before implementing the new law, as he feels that their input didn’t have any weight. “We are of the view that this law did not reflect the stakeholders’ inputs as earlier submitted to the Parliamentary Finance Committee,” he added. The new law establishes that gaming, lottery, sports betting and competition operators in the country will now be imposed a 35 percent of gross profits. Until the new measure, casino gambling contributed with 12 percent, whilst competitions were taxes at 15 percent. Lotteries were under a 5 percent tax, and betting firms and bookmakers a 7.5 percent. Ogutu said that this will kill the industry.
After the announcement, sports betting operator SportsPesa revealed the cancellation of its sponsorship of local sports bodies. CEO Ronald Karauri announced through his Twitter account that “from January 1 we [the company] will withdraw all sponsorships.” According to President Kenyatta, the tax raise will prevent the Kenyan youth from gambling excessively, which is currently a major issue in the country that has the highest rate of youth gambling participation in Africa according to a GeoPoll survey.