Uganda to modify its gambling taxes

An official from Uganda expressed his concerns regarding the current situation of the gambling industry in the country.

Uganda.- People’s Defence Forces’ Commander of Land Forces from Uganda, Maj. Gen. Peter Elwelu, said that betting is threatening the public security of the country as the people with lower incomes are predisposed to steal to earn money to gamble.

“I wonder why government introduced betting to poor people. It is a game of the rich. A poor person is very dangerous. He can do anything to survive. We need to support projects such as Operation Wealth Creation and others that focus on the socio-economic development of this country,” said the Elwelu to AllAfrica. Uganda’s Revenue Authority (URA) agreed with him and said that a better taxation would help regulate gambling better than setting a prohibition.

The Ministry of Finance proposed last week the amendment of the Income Tax Act in order to separate the gambling tax burden among operators and gamblers. A new rate would set gambling winnings of 15 percent and operators would experience a 20 percent reduction on their taxes. The bill says: “A person who makes payments for winnings of sports betting or pool betting shall withhold tax on the gross amount of the payment, at the rate prescribed in Part X of the Third Schedule to this Act.”

Uganda is set to launch counseling services this summer, as well as a responsible gambling program. Last year, the African country banned slot machines stating that they were corrupting youth and women.