Punters are set for a reunion with betting firms Sportpesa and Betin, after President Kenyatta scrapped off stringent tax measures that saw the two firms exit the country in September 2019.
The head of state signed into law the Finance Bill 2020 which dropped the 20 per cent excise duty imposed on betting firms in November 2019.
The two firms lost their betting licences in July 2019 with the closure of the firms leading to massive unemployment as many employees were rendered jobless and billions of shillings lost in revenue.
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, who lobbied and spearheaded taxation of betting firms reiterated the government’s stance on betting.
President Uhuru Kenyatta signs into law the Finance Bill 2020 at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 PSCU
The CS argued that the firms were yet to comply with measures stipulated by the government against betting.
“Before you start talking about the tax on winnings, have any of these companies complied with the registration criteria?
“The government is on course towards ending the gambling menace in this country. Some of those firms you are saying will never operate in Kenya because they have not met the standards,” Matiang’i stated while speaking with Daily Nation.
The National Assembly Finance and National Planning Committee which proposed the change stated that the tax affected the industry and Kenya’s economy.
“The 20 per cent excise duty charged on the stake placed by a punter has hurt the local gaming industry. The amendment is to remove excise duty on betting.
“This is to reverse the negative effects of this tax on the industry, which has led to the closure of betting firms in Kenya yet international players continue to operate,” the MPs proposed.
Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri in one of Narok NYC’s designs addresses the press in June 2019. On his left is Sports CS Amina Mohammed. Instagram