Betting Control, Licensing Board Rejects Tax Proposal in Kenya Online Gambling Bill

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Published on:
Feb/19/2017

The Betting Control and Licensing Board in Kenya shot down a draft bill proposed to collect taxes on Internet gambling activity in that nation.

Known as the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the draft law sought to introduce higher taxes and tougher regulations in order to prevent betting firms from evading taxes.

The legislation, introduced by Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, more specifically would have required gamblers to be taxed at 20 per cent. 

“Withholding tax has already been tried and posed a challenge due to the nature of some of the gaming activities,” the Betting Control and Licensing Board noted.  “The best way would be to make income from gambling above Sh100,000 taxable at normal rates and the onus be on the winner to declare the same, while the operators file the requisite documentation.”

Ronald Karuru, CEO of betting firm SportPesa and chairman of the Association of Gaming Operators – Kenya, believed the bill featured implications that Web gambling might help to fuel money laudering activities.  Karuru insisted that the laundering of money was close to impossible with online gambling.

“Everything is online, transactions are with the bank and it is impossible to do any money laundering, especially with online gaming,” he stated. 

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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