SportPesa to shut down offices in Kenya
The company says that it cannot survive the current turnover tax rate.
Pleading inability to sustain business at such a high tax rate Sportpesa is making plans to move the business to its other two branches in Tanzania and the UK stating that had the two options not been there then they would have closed completely.
Speaking at a media briefing Global Chief Executive Officer, Gerasim Nikolov, says that there is no other place in the world with such heavy taxes and that no company in Kenya can survive such a high turn over.
“There is nowhere in the world where such a huge tax is levied on turnovers and even here in Kenya, no firm can survive today if a 35 per cent tax was put on its turnover.”
The closing down of SportPesa spells doom to the Kenyan economy as 10000 people risk losing their jobs and many other organizations will not be operating as they highly depend on the top gaming fraternity.
Before the increment, SportPesa and alike organizations were paying 7.5 percent betting tax.
President Uhuru Kenyatta then signed the Finance Bill 2017 that imposed a uniform percent tax on all gambling platforms. This was done in a bid to reduce the increasing number of gamblers in the country and at the same time, earn the government more revenue.
SportPesa Kenya CEO and Chairman of Association of Gaming Operators AGOK, Ronald Karauri believes that the government’s decision was a death warrant for the budding industry. He said, “You cannot run a business just to pay tax to the government. It is not worth the sweat and were we not present in the UK and Tanzania, we would just wind up. I don’t think the government will benefit either because this is a death sentence to the whole industry.”
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