The Kenyan government has revealed its intentions to launch a “National Lottery” to support funding for sports, culture, and arts. As a result, the government is poised to compete with betting companies in the country.
Owing to the new development, the national lottery’s revenue might be setting the sports, arts, and culture sectors down a more progressive path.
The National Treasury is also exploring a dedicated or ring-fenced tax, tax incentives for business sponsorship, and a framework of public-private partnerships for infrastructure development.
“To further harness the potential of the sports and arts industry, the government will identify sustainable sources of sports funding and consider setting up a national lottery. The government will also review the Sports Act and establish and resource adequately a dedicated function within the Tourism Promotion Council to attract international sporting events.” – The National Treasury
Kenya lacks a national lottery despite having open lotteries like the Kenya Charity Sweepstake and Win Lotto. A national lottery is quite different, as it is a state-licensed lottery that raises money for the performing arts, sports, and charitable organizations. It does this by selling numbered tickets and awarding rewards to winners that are picked at random.
A national lottery was previously attempted to be established in Kenya through the 2019 Gaming Bill, which would have created the country’s first such organization. The goal of the gaming bill was to get rid of the betting, lotteries, and gaming act.
The government would be competing with other existing public lotteries and gaming companies once the national lottery is launched. However, some adjustments to the country’s gambling laws may be required to accommodate the government-owned lottery.
Although lotteries are a game of chance, they won’t be treated differently from other games of chance at existing casinos in the country. There is currently a 20% tax on all gambling winnings in the country, and this will likely be attached to winnings fromthe lottery as well.
Even now the only way the government generates revenue from gaming, lotteries, and betting is through taxes. This funds goes to the Sports Arts and Social Development Fund. Their job is to provide money for the development and promotion of sports, the arts, and social development.
In accordance with Kenya Kwanza’s Bottom-Up Economic Development Strategy, President William Ruto has assembled a task force of 27 people to lead the creation of the national lottery.
One of the main responsibilities of the task force will be to conduct an exhaustive analysis of the best practices for establishing national lotteries. This is in addition to creating the policy and implementation plan that will direct the operationalization of the National Lottery in Kenya.
Also, the members will coordinate meetings with all significant stakeholders. This includes reviewing the current institutional, policy, and legal frameworks in these sectors, and making complete reform recommendations.