Giant betting company Sportpesa will resume operations as early as this month, July 2020.A source from the company intimated to us that the government has agreed to renew the company’s license which will allow them(Sportpesa) to begin operations.
This week, President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the 2020 Finance bill which removed the 20% tax on stake. This particular tax was the reason Sportpesa closed its business in Kenya. It’s believed that the government had to make changes to the tax regime to encourage more Kenyans to bet in order, this will in turn generate more taxes for the government.
It’s believed that the major reason President Uhuru Kenyatta accepted the changes to gaming taxes is because the government is broke: almost every sector is struggling. By eliminating the 20% tax on stake, Kenyans will have the need to bet and eventually increase taxes for the government. Even as the tax on stake was removed, there is still tax on winnings which will increase because of the rise in the number of gamblers.
Sportpesa has confirmed through its Facebook page that indeed discussions are ongoing for license renewal, “Good morning Jerk this, trust you are well. Discussions regarding our licence are ongoing with BCLB which we hope will allow us to resume operations in Kenya. Once we have any new developments we shall communicate through our official communication channels”, SportPesa Care.This was in response to a Kenyan who inquired whether the company intends to resume operations.
In July 2019, Interior CS Dr Fred Matiangi announced that the new taxes were meant to stop the culture of betting. He accused betting companies of evading taxes, confirming that they collected over Ksh200 billion annually but only paid Ksh2 billion in taxes. He went ahead to claim that gambling has resulted to the rise of suicide cases as well as domestic violence. Sportpesa and Betin were the major casualties following the closure of the Paybill numbers of 27 betting sites. However, their absence created room for Betika, Bet254, Mozzart and Betlion to dominate. In case Sportpesa resumes operations, more than 7 million of Kenyans who sank with it will resurrect again.
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