Majority of Kenyans unhappy over betting tax hike

4 August 2017

The majority of Kenyans are opposed to a planned increase in tax on gross profit from gambling activities the country.

In June, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law a new tax rate of 35%.

Bookmakers were previously subject to a 7.5% rate, while lotteries were taxed at 5%, casino gambling at 12% and competitions such as raffles at 15%.

The move has led to heavy criticism from SportPesa, one of the largest betting operators in the country, which recently announced it would move to court in an effort to fight the planned rise.

A survey conducted by Trends and Insights for Africa suggests that the majority of Kenyans are of a similar mindset as SportPesa, with 60% of citizens opposed to the tax hike.

In addition, the report said only 22% of Kenyans support the new rate, while 18% remain neutral on the matter.

According to The Star, the Kenya Premier League (KPL), the country’s top-tier club football competition, is also concerned about the planned increase.

Jack Oguda, chief executive of the KPL, recently aired his views on the matter and said that the league intends to meet with the Kenyan government in an effort to shelve the new law.

“We have a lobby group among ourselves—football, rugby and boxing - and we have been trying to set up meeting with the Head of State to see what can be done about the legislation,” Oguda said.

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