Gambling tax in Kenya

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Gambling tax in Kenya has changed tremendously since 2013 when Sportpesa was launched and became a big thing in the economy. In 2018 parliament passed a law requiring gamblers to be deducted 20% of their winnings. In addition, all betting companies are taxed 15% of their profits.

Punters(gamblers) will be taxed 20%. A practical example is as follows:

If you deposit Ksh 100 ,you place a bet and win Ksh 1,000,the government will deduct Ksh 200,which translates to 20% of the total amount. This means that even your principal amount is taxed.

Assuming you won Ksh100 million from Sportpesa, the government will take Ksh20 million as tax. What’s not clear is whether the betting company will further deduct you the 15% required by the government.

Most betting companies have protested the 20% tax on winnings, saying it’s bad for their businesses. This is the same tax which resulted to closure of 27 paybill numbers for betting companies in the country.

Before the introduction of the 20% tax on winnings, the government had proposed that betting companies should pay 35% tax. After negotiations, the tax was distributed between winners and the betting companies involved. Currently,it’s the winners who pay more to the government, betting firms pay 15% only.

Already, Betlion and Betika have notified their customers on the intention to deduct 20% from their winnings. Sportpesa,Betway and other betting companies will also be required to deduct the required tax and remit to the government.

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