Kenya is one of the leading countries in Sun-Saharan Africa, with an increasing gaming and betting market share but a high tax rate. In addition to the already choking taxes for betting companies, the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has proposed adding two new taxes to the rapidly expanding industry.
The board believes that the new taxes will aid in the fight against gambling addiction among youth in Kenya. According to them, the taxes will help create more awareness of gambling addiction and set up more rehabilitation centers.
Currently, the income tax paid for betting is set at 15%. Also, compulsory annual compliance and license fees must be paid to get accredited by BCLB. Moreover, a 30% corporate tax on profits and a 12.5% tax on betting stakes must be paid. Betting firms must also withhold 20% of winnings paid out to bettors as required by the KRA.
The two additional taxes that are being suggested are a 15% gambling tax on a betting company’s gross gaming revenue and a monthly 1% tax on that same revenue. On or before the 20th day of the next month, the proposed taxes must be paid to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The draft Gambling Control Bill of 2023 includes provisions for the two suggested taxes. The Bill will be open for public discussion before being introduced in Parliament.
In the coming days, betting companies will likely challenge the proposals, just as they did with the 20 percent excise tax on bet stakes.