Kenyan Parliament rejects calls to cut 35% gambling tax
Kenya’s Parliament has turned down requests to lower gaming tax in the country from 35% to 15%, despite ongoing concerns that the current rate is hampering progress in the domestic gambling market.
The Kenyan Finance and National Planning Committee had launched a campaign for a 15% flat rate by seeking to reintroduce amendments through the Finance Bill 2018, after a similar bid through the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018 failed.
However, MPs have turned down the request and the 35% rate will remain in place.
According to Daily Nation, the Committee had also suggested cutting the share of sales that gambling operators dedicate to social causes and charity from 25% to 5%, but this was also rejected by MPs.
Previously, bookmakers were paying a 7.5% tax rate, while lotteries were taxed at 5%, casino gambling at 12% and competitions such as raffles at 15%.
However, the move has led to widespread criticism from both operators active in Kenya and the country’s residents, with 60% of citizens opposed to the rate.
The operator later announced that it was to halt all sports sponsorship in Kenya as a direct response to the tax hike.