Kenya’s government is planning to impose a stricter tax regime on the nation’s entire gambling industry. The authorities are proposing a 20% withholding tax on any winnings gained whilst gambling and it comes after the country saw its first online gaming site launch earlier this year. Currently, operators pay a 16% duty with winnings untaxed and Kenya Revenue Authority official David Gichohi explained it would mean more people paying tax.
As expected, the move hasn’t been welcomed with open arms by the country’s gambling industry. Fridah Mwebia, Manager for Paradise Casino at Safari Park, said: “We are already paying a 16 percent tax on winnings and an addition (of) 20 percent is a lot. Our members will meet in December to discuss on what steps we are going to take against this move.”
A manager at Nairobi’s Babylon Casino said: “If they (KRA) want, they should levy the 20 per cent tax directly to the winning customers. But, if it is directed to the Casino, it is impractical,” adding that they have no problem paying the tax as long as the system is workable.
Operators successfully saw off the last attempt by Kenya to impose a rise in excise duty of 5% and the Association of Gaming Operators Kenya will present its views to the Parliament Budget Committee over the latest move. Amaya became the first firm to launch an online gaming site, BetKenya.com, and we will wait until their next set of results to see whether the latest news will have an effect.