Rwanda is the latest country to put a law forward to their parliament in order to regulate and streamline gaming and betting activities. Under the proposals, a special gaming tax of 13% will be introduced in addition to a withholding tax of 15%. Up until now, the Rwanda Gaming Corporation (RGC) has not been paying tax on their activities due to the market being unregulated. The Minister of Finance John Rwangombwa set out the plans during his budget speech for 2011/12.
“On the basis of activities performed in 2010, we expect collections in 2011/2012 of Rwf186.3million and Rwf859.9million in gaming special tax and withholding tax respectively,” the Minister said.
The RGC has been championing regulatory laws for some time. CEO Philip Brazoua states that the lack of clear laws has stunted the growth of the industry since 2004. He added, “The casino as well as over 200 video slot machines that we have on the market constitutes only 10 percent of what we have in stock.”
“Although we have over 8,000 slot machines stored up as well as other products, we cannot put them on market until there is a law that defines how they should and shouldn’t be used.”
Rwanda’s government has a 40% stake in the RGC and as a public-private initiative they operate several gaming facilities such as Casino Kigali at the Top Tower Hotel. The RGC also went on to explain that they have contacted foreign investors that are happy to put in US$20million once the new laws are in place.
Currently gaming employs around 400 staff in the country and standards are kept up by continual RGC training.