Kenyan operators were dealt a blow today after news emerged that the country’s parliament had turned down requests to reduce gaming tax from 35% to 15%.
Licensed bookmakers had been hopeful that their calls for a reduced rate would be met, amid concerns that the current rate is hampering the growth of the local market.
The parliament’s National Finance and Planning Committee had in late August apparently ceded to industry pressure and recommended the tax reduction through the Finance Bill 2018. It appears that measure has now been rejected.
The government amended the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act to raise the basic tax rate from 7.5% to 35% on 1 January 2018 and has been facing a backlash from operators ever since.
Major operator SportPesa has been at the heart of the taxation argument, having withdrawn its big-money sponsorship of local sports teams when the 35% rate was introduced, claiming the high rate would severely hinder the profitability of its business.