Kenya still attractive destination despite 20% Excise tax imposed

Kenya is still the most attractive destination for gaming operators to invest despite the challenges rocking the gaming industry between the operator’s and Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) of Kenya, the newly imposed 20% excise tax on bets stake and tax on winnings by the government.

This loggerheads has made the two giant bookmarkers to halter its operations in the country, namely SportPesa and Betin, however, due to the newly imposed 20% excise tax on bets stake, the two giant company has no other option than to layoff over 3,000 workers in the country, according to the report coming from the country gaming industry.

Furthermore, according to SportPesa CEO as quoted said this new 20% excise tax on betting stakes has created an over-taxed and unfair operating environment for betting operators in the country.

However, despite all the issues happening in the Kenya gaming industry, Kenya is still pretty much very attractive destination in sub-Saharan Africa for gaming investors, to take full advantage of the huge opportunities left behind by these two giant companies in the country.

Moreover, in sub-Saharan Africa, sports’ betting is still very much the most popular in the region, and Kenyans leads when it comes to the numbers of gambling related activities in the region, the country have the highest numbers of sports betting punters in SSA.

A very good example in 2018 alone Kenyans numbers in search of betting related sites, the report showed a massive 11 of the top google search queries were directly related to betting sites, the report found out that while other countries frequency search for betting sites was once a month, but in Kenya once a week, nothing occupies the Kenyans minds other than gambling according to annual report for 2019 by Hootsuite and we are social.

Moreover, based on Geopoll report Kenya youths spend more than the average of $50 a month compare to other bettors spend on gambling in Sub-Saharan Africa, while punters in other countries spend less than $50 a month and while most of them bets only once a month, and while the country gaming industry has the third largest Gambling Generated Revenue (GGR) in Africa, behind only South Africa and Nigeria, while in terms of youth participation Kenyans leads by 54% of those that have tried their hands in gambling, and with high numbers of youth who have participated in betting in the past at 76% according to Geopoll survey on gaming industry in sub-Saharan Africa.

However, gambling is been influenced by the economy of a country, for instance according to the recently released World Bank Group list of countries for Ease of doing business ranking for 2020, Kenya is ranked third in Africa and with the government amended 6 reforms to help boost electricity supply and introducing online system for social security contributions which as positioned it behind only Mauritius and Rwanda in Africa while the country is ranked 53rd globally.

While the country is the second most innovative in sub-Saharan Africa, behind south Africa and ahead of Mauritius, according to the world Intellectual Property Organizations Global Innovation Index 2019, while 63 foreign companies have made Greenfield investment in the country in the software and IT sector since 2009, according to FDI markets.

Kenya is still an attractive destination for gaming investors despite the 20% tax imposed on bets stake by Kenya government.

Written by Adeleye Awakan

Associate/Editor Africa’s leading digital gaming magazine. For consultant on gaming in Africa, Marketing, PR, Advertising, and Thoughtful leadership article contact: [email protected]

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