Betting companies hit hard in 2017/18 budget

I, therefore, propose to raise taxes for betting, lottery, gaming and competition from the current rates of 7.5 per to 50 per cent.

Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich

While reading the 2017/18 budget in parliament, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich stated that the gaming industry was inadequately regulated despite tremendous growth in the recent years.

"The betting and gaming have become widespread in our society in an environment that is inadequately regulated. Its expansion is beginning to have negative social effects in particular on the young and vulnerable members of our society.

“I, therefore, propose to raise taxes for betting, lottery, gaming and competition from the current rates of 7.5 per cent, five per cent, 12 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively to a uniform tax rate of 50 per cent for all categories," Rotich said in his budget speech.

Earlier on Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo had proposed an increase in the taxes on grounds that it was having a negative impact on the youth.

However, after Rotich’s new announcement, Midiwo stated that it was like putting the betting companies out of the industry.

"The 50 percent is too hefty. It is like putting them out of business. What I was trying to do was to regulate the industry," Mr Midiwo said after the Budget was read.

Cases of suicide with regard to betting in the country have been on the increase especially among students at the universities.

This compelled the government to reconsider and tighten the rules to prevent more youth from indulging in the betting industry.

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