Last week saw legislators in Kenya reportedly agree to a compromise with the African nation’s long-serving president that will see all licensed online gambling operators subjected to a 35% revenue tax on top of an already instituted 30% corporation duty.
According to a report from local news portal CitizenTV, legislators in Nairobi had controversially recommended the imposition of a 50% revenue tax on Tuesday but this was subsequently rejected by president Uhuru Kenyatta before the compromise 35% rate was agreed to two days later.
The arrangement, which is to apply to all locally-licensed online sportsbetting, gaming and lottery operators, was reportedly agreed on the final day of the current parliamentary session ahead of August 8 national elections and has been designed to discourage younger and poorer players from gambling. Included as part of the wide-ranging Finance Bill 2017, the deal will amend the governing Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act by raising the tax on revenues from 15% to 35%.
“The purpose of the amendment of section 59B of cap 469 was to discourage Kenyans and especially the youth in directing their focus on betting, lottery and gaming activities instead of productive economic engagements, a vice that is likely to degenerate into a social disaster,” read a statement from Kenyatta.