Why Kenya parliament is proposing 20% excise tax on bet stake

Kenya is located in the eastern part of Africa with the population of over 48 million people (which 26.06% are living in urban areas) according to world bank collation of data 2016. While the current birth rate for Kenya in 2019 stand at 28.595 births per 1000 people a 1.07% decline from 2018.

On the average Kenyans youth population stands at 20.3% above the worlds average of 15.8% and 19.2 % for Africa, while internet penetration in 2018 stood at 83.0%, per CAK. The country real gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast for 2020 to stand at 5.9% according to World Bank Economic growth.

However, gambling laws as been in existence in Kenya way back in 1966 at that time Kenya introduced the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act. The gambling laws resulted in the establishment of the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), a body that licenses and enforce all gambling regulation in the country.

However, with the recent issues rocking the Kenya gaming industry, based on tax related issues between major bookmakers and betting control and licensing board (BCLB), on back logs of taxes on winnings of customers minus bet on stake by punters.

Furthermore, the government realizes Kenya leads in SSA in terms of sport betting in the gaming industry. For instance in 2018 alone Kenyans numbers in search for 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 occupied the Kenyans minds than gambling according to annual report for 2019 by Hootsuite and we are social.

Therefore, based on Geopoll report, Kenyan youth spend more than the average of $50 those other sports gamblers spend in Sub Saharan Africa;

Kenyans is the leader on amount spends on gambling. While Youth elsewhere spend less than $50 a month and most of them bet only once a month. Geopoll said. According to pricewatercoopers (PWC) Kenya is the third largest gambling revenue markets after South Africa and Nigeria in terms of revenue. However, in terms of participation Kenya leads, 54% of youth have tried their hands at gambling. Kenya has the highest number of youth who have participated in gambling or betting in the past at 76%. According to Geopoll survey on gambling in SSA region.

Furthermore, Kenya revenue authority (KRA) deputy commissioner Elizabeth Meyo said 72 betting licensees of the (BCLB) including 27 betting operators owe outstanding back-tax bill. The country (KRA) is doing every tactics to recover billions in the country gaming industry and the government authority realize on average the youths in Kenya leads the way in SSA when it comes to bet stake per game.

Written by Adeleye Awakan Associate Editor www.gbc.ng Africa’s leading B2B digital gaming news portal in Africa. Contact [email protected].

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