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Kenya to bring back the 20% Gambling Tax

26 Apr 2022

Kenya to bring back the 20% Gambling TaxThe Treasury of Kenya has published the 2022 Finance Bill, which re-introduces the controversial 20% tax rate on wagering stakes. Despite the protests of the Kenya Betting Control Board (BCLB), the Bill will also double the taxation on foreign betting companies.

What is the Context for the Kenya Tax Law?

Only two years after authorities lowered it to 7.5%, the tax will again see an increase, which in the past has driven several firms like SportPesa and Betin out of the country. The new, increased tax will apply to betting, gaming and lotteries. Moreover, there will be a 15% tax on gambling ads on TV and radio, which is expected to further hamper the online gaming industry.

According to Ukur Yatani, Treasury Secretary, the Bill will generate additional revenue of KES 50.4bn ($433.4m), and it will also increase digital tax service (DST) to 3% of the gross value of online transactions in the financial year. In the words of Katani: ''The Third Schedule to the Income Tax Act is amended by deleting the expression ‘one-point-five per cent’ appearing in paragraph 12 (digital service tax rate) and substituting.''

Bookmakers and the BCLB have strongly opposed the new tax increase and have stated that it will kill the market and lead to more brands leaving the country. 

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