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Kenya Operators Face New 35% Gambling Tax

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Gambling operators in Kenya are facing a massive tax hike after Kenyan MPs approved a new 35% tax on gambling companies which represents a significant increase on the current rate of 7.5%.that the country’s betting operators have been paying.

A delay in Kenya’s Finance Bill 2017 was delayed due to legislators opting not to back a proposed 50% gambling tax that was put forward by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.  As a direct result of the recent lack of support for President Kenyatta’s proposed 50% rate, which he reportedly said would help to discourage gambling amongst the youth of Kenya, the President refused to sign the Finance Bill.

According to a statement issued by President Kenyatta, the purpose of Amendment of Section 59 B of Cap 460 was to discourage Kenyans, and especially the youth, in directing their focus on betting, lottery and gaming activities instead of productive economic engagement which is a vice that is likely to degenerate a social disaster.

However, President Kenyatta and MPs were eventually able to come to a compromise rate of 35%, which will still represent a nearly fivefold rise on the 7.5% rate that the country’s betting operators have been paying. This new rate will apply to all sports betting, gaming, lottery as well as competition operators in the African country.

Kenya is said to have one of the African continent’s more mature gambling markets.