21 February 2017

Kenya: Betting Companies Paid Sh4.7 Bilion Tax in 3 Years, KRA Says

Eight betting companies have paid a total Sh4.7 billion in taxes over the past three years, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) boss John Njiraini has told the Labour and Social Welfare Committee of the National Assembly.

In the past two years alone, tax from betting firms has almost tripled from Sh1.2 billion to Sh3.4 billion.

Mr Njiraini led a team from the KRA to a meeting with the committee to discuss the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Bill.

He said the agency is about to start implementing changes to the existing law on gambling.

He was, however, critical of the law for creating a complex system of taxation that would create opportunities for disputes.


The KRA is of the opinion that raising the tax on gambling could drive the practice underground and lead to illegal gaming.

"A similar effect has been seen in tobacco and alcohol. The best example would be the effect the tax rate has had on the (Senator) Keg brand of beer," said Mr Njiraini.

Consumption of the low-end brew dropped when the tax on it rose in 2014 and is seen to have contributed to the higher intake of illicit alcohol.

"High tax rates for commodities deemed to be socially unacceptable leads to reduced demand and growth of underground channels," said Mr Njiraini.

He, however, said introducing a tax on winnings and raising the levy on betting would be in line with the practice across Africa.

The second reading of the Bill is scheduled to continue on Tuesday afternoon.


Suspects in Massive Corruption Scandal Freed on Bond

The High Court has freed all the suspects charged with the scandal at the National Youth Service, but with stringent… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.