Kenyan Government Agrees To Launch Review Into Gambling Tax Laws


kenya-betting-operators-could-get-massive-break-as-committee-decides-to-relax-tax-lawsThe African continent has one of the fastest growing casino and sports betting markets in the world. There are a number of African countries who have benefitted greatly from the additional revenue generated by the casino and sports betting industry. Kenya is one of the few African countries that has not gained as much revenue as it would have liked from its licensed casino industry.

Existing Gaming Laws Have Too Many Issues

One of the reasons why Kenya has been on the backfoot when compared to other African countries is because the existing gaming laws have far too many drawbacks. The tax rates are very high according to most casino operators who are hesitant to invest heavily into the Kenya economy because the assured returns are negligible.

Kenya casinos have to shell out as much as 35 percent of their gaming revenue, pay an additional 30 percent corporate tax and pledge another 25 percent to social causes such as problem gambling addiction and rehabilitation centers. Gamblers who win at these casinos have to shell out 20 percent in taxes on their winnings. Since they are taxed on just about every side, casino operators prefer to target other African countries than Kenya.

The strict tax regime on the gambling industry has enabled illegal gaming operators to launch online and mobile gaming services targeting Kenyans who have no qualms in playing at unregulated and unlicensed gaming providers. This has resulted in a boom in the illegal gaming industry and has eaten into the profits of the legalized gambling industry in the country.

Parliament To Conduct Extensive Review

Kenya is a hotbed for tourism and the industry generated 4 billion Kenyan shillings last year. The tourism board stated that this number could very well double if the government decided to look after the casino industry. The tourism board believes that if casino operators invested in developing their establishments and linking them towards tourist initiatives in the country, it would provide a much needed boost to both the casino and tourism industry.

The Kenyan government has heeded these requests and has now confirmed that it will launch a detailed review in the existing gaming law which could result in lower tax rates for the casino industry and a clean-up of the illegal gaming operators in the country.

Thobani Mkhize

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