SBC News Kenya TNA hierarchy open to industry tax review

Kenya TNA hierarchy open to industry tax review

Kenya’s National Alliance (TNA) government may move to review its 50% tax hike on all licensed gambling activities, following backlash from industry and sporting stakeholders.

Kenyan news sources report that President Uhuru Kenyatta is aware of industry concerns and the potential liability of over taxing an effective industry. Kenyatta and his advisors are reported to be open to an industry review, assessing taxation on all forms of legal gambling.

National gambling stakeholders have lambasted Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich for presenting a blanket 50% tax on all gambling activities for Kenya’s 2017/18 budget. Stating his defence, Rotich detailed that drastic measures were needed to curb gambling within Kenyan society.

This week, investment firm Bradley Trading filed multiple lawsuits against the Treasury, Kenya’s licensing body and Rotich for implementing an ‘improper’ tax hike. The company states that Rotich further acted in ‘excess of his powers’ by implementing a new industry tax charge without adequate consultation.

Kenyan sports betting operators, who will see their tax burden increase from 7.5% to 50%, will want a quick response from the government regarding the implementation of Rotich budget.

For some months, Industry body the Association of Gaming Operators of Kenya (AGOK), has urged the government to participate in a ‘fair review’ of Kenyan operators and industry processes.

Before the budget release, AGOK members had made official complaints of being victims of double taxation practices. The AGOK further stated that key government officials had been misinformed regarding the industry and social concerns.

As yet, top TNA government officials have noted the reaction of industry operators, but have not given any indication as to whether they will halt Rotich’s proposed budget framework.

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