Opposition Mounts To Kenya Gambling Amendment Bill (update)

Betting Control and Licensing Board crfitical of tax clauses

Following the scathing attack by Kenya's Association of Gaming Operators over the weekend, Kenyan MP Jakoyo Midiwo's proposed amendments to gambling laws received another setback Monday when the Betting Control and Licensing Board rejected his draft Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which among other provisions seeks to tax players and introduce higher operator taxes and tougher regulations.
Players would be taxed 20 percent on winnings if the bill was approved, with operators responsible for collecting the withholding tax.
"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, weighed in on the public debate as well, telling reporters that Midiwo's implication that casino operators may be evading tax and facilitating money laundering through online operations was not a fair or realistic evaluation of the industry.
"Everything is online, transactions are with the bank and it is impossible to do any money laundering, especially with online gaming," he stated.

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