Kenya approves gambling tax hike



The president of Kenya signed a law that approves the rise of gambling taxes from 5 to 35 percent.

Kenya.- Uhuru Kenyatta, president of Kenya, has finally signed the law that authorises the significant rise of gambling taxes from 5 to 35 percent. Yesterday’s resolution comes after an attempt to increase the financial obligations to 39.5 percent.

The president had rejected the original bill because it didn’t include the requirements it needed to prevent the participation of minors in gaming operations. Instead, he proposed the 35 percent increase, and asked a review on the bill. The original draft contained further conditions on youth participation but they were deleted by the House of Representatives.

Kenya’s MPs voted last Thursday, on the last day of the legislative session to approve the president’s recommendations. 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.

As Reuters revealed, industry executives from the Africa country said that 7 million out of the 45 million living in Kenya are registered on betting services. Last month, Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said that the increase is meant to discourage problem gamblers. Back in March, after announcing the original plan, he said that the expansion of the industry has had negative social effects on society, especially on the youths and vulnerable members of the society.