Gambling industry received a major blow by Treasury’s Secretary Henry Rotich at the presentation of the Kenya National Budget. The tax that the government has prepared for the bookmakers reaches an unbelievable 50%, which will apply to revenues on all verticals. That means a disastrous - for the gambling industry – increase of taxes at a rate of 35%, since the previous tax was at 15%. The betting operators have been urging for many months the government not to raise the taxes, but their wishes were not listened. Ronald Karauri, who is the Sportpesa CEO, warned that a new and raised substantial tax would kill the industry at a time that shows signs of growing and could be a massive weapon of income for the government within the next years.
From the side of the government though, Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich told that higher taxes were put in-place to stop problem gambling in Kenya and believes that by this way, the target will be achieved. «Betting and Gaming have become widespread in our society in an environment that is inadequately regulated. Its expansion is beginning to have negative social effects in particular on the youth and the vulnerable members of the society», mr Rotich commented on the matter.