Kenya’s biggest gaming firm Sportpesa has today welcomed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s offer to review a 50 percent tax on the incomes of the Kenya’s booming gambling industry.
In a statement to newsrooms, the firm said it was happy the government was willing to sit down with the industry to discuss how to regulate the industry.
“Sportpesa strongly feels that this is the only way to find a lasting solution through balanced regulation,” said the gaming firm’s chief executive officer Ronald Karauri.
Karauri said the firm shared the president’s concerns on the rising problem of underage gambling he attributed to illegal gambling machines.
“As an industry, we have previously raised the same concerns with the regulator and county governments, constantly requesting them to curb this menace which has tarnished the industry’s image,” said Karauri.
Karauri was reacting to Uhuru’s remarks in the morning where he acknowledged complaints from the industry following Cabinet Secretary for Treasury Henry Rotich’s decision to slap the betting and gaming firms with a 50 percent uniform tax.
“I know there is a big cry in the gaming industry because of the 50 per cent tax but we can sit down and engage with the affected parties,” Uhuru had said in the morning.
Speaking when he presided over the launch of a website outlining campaign promises delivered by the Jubilee Coalition government, Uhuru said the tax was a reaction to the harm that unregulated gambling was having on underage Kenyans.
“We were very concerned about betting among school-goers so we made it difficult for people to bet. We want people who bet to have their money go to constructive projects through tax,” said Uhuru.
A company related to Sportpesa, Bradley Trading has gone to court to challenge Rotich’s uniform 50 percent tax.