Saturday, September 23, 2023

Kenya scraps controversial 20% tax on betting stakes

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Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Africa Feeds Staff writers are group of African journalists focused on reporting news about the continent and the rest of the world.

Kenya’s government has scrapped a 20% tax on betting stakes and winnings that was imposed on betting companies in 2018.

The decision to impose the tax led to the closure of several betting companies including one of the biggest called SportPesa.

SportPesa at the time pulled out of all local sports sponsorship after it lost a court case challenging the government’s decision.

The company however appealed the decision last year and a tribunal ruled that the tax should be charged on winnings, and not the stakes placed.

According to a survey published in 2017, Kenyans are the biggest gamblers in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Three-quarters of 17- to 35-year-olds in Kenya surveyed admitted to having placed a bet.

The government said it increased the tax on sports betting sites, because it was worried about the effects of gambling.

The removal of the taxes now according to experts could once again breathe life back into sports betting industry Kenya.

Kenyan officials last year also launched a major crackdown on betting companies suspending licenses of 27 of them.

The act affected top betting brands like SportPesa and Betway, some of these betting firms sacked some of their staff.

Local media reported that as many as over 600 Kenyans engaged lost their jobs.




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