Kenya’s betting operators have lost their latest attempt to secure a tax reprieve after Parliament threw out a proposal to reduce tax on gambling revenue from 35 percent to 15 percent.
According to a report in the local media outlet Daily Nation, members of parliament had voted against a proposed amendment to the country’s Finance Bill that would have reduced the 35 percent tax on gambling revenue to 15 percent, while at the same time reducing gambling operators’ payments to social causes.
Kenya’s new uniform 35% tax on all gambling revenue kicked in on 1st January 2018 and created a hard new economic reality for the nation’s betting, lottery, gaming and competition operators, who previously paid tax rates as low as 5% (lotteries) or 7.5% (betting).
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, commented that they should have been told the amount of money that the Kenya Revenue Authority has collected since introduction of the tax and the amount it will collect if they reduce taxation to 15 percent. He added that the committee should instead have introduced an amendment to push up the tax to discourage gambling among the youth.
The proposal was rejected by MP Kubai Iringo who said that the proposal saying Parliament cannot increase food items and at the same time reduce taxes on gambling.