The betting firm SportPesa has revealed that it is halting its operations in Kenya due to an increase on betting taxes and the government’s hostility.
Kenya.- SportPesa, the biggest gambling operator in Kenya, has revealed that it was forced to withdraw its business in the country after authorities refused to lower betting taxes. This decision comes after Kenya imposed a 20% tax on all betting platforms earlier this year.
The betting company said that it decided to stop operations in Kenya due to the hostility of the local government. “We’re disappointed with the decision by the Kenyan legislature to impose a 20% excise tax on all betting stakes,” said a spokesperson.
SportPesa said that until adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment returns to Kenya, it will halt operations in the country. “SportPesa’s operational closure in Kenya will not impact our business operations in other markets or our global sponsorships,” said the spokesperson.
In August, SportPesa announced that it had decided to cancel all of its sports sponsorship deals in the country. This comes after a dispute with the local government’s approval of a new betting tax in the 2019-20 financial budget.
Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa urged the government to slow down on its stance on betting firms. He referred to the fight between the government and betting firms in regards to tax compliance.
Mwendwa said that the sport will be the biggest loser when it comes to this tax compliance fight. Mwendwa singled out SportPesa’s contribution of €39 million that supported different football entities. The president said he feared that this fight with the government would leave teams without this kind of financial support. SportPesa’s announcement ultimately led to the league without this contribution.