The Treasury is planning to reintroduce a 20 percent excise duty on betting within the next six months. The provision had been removed in the Finance Act, 2020 which was assented to by the President on June 30.
According to National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, the tax was scrapped at the committee stage of the Bill. He added that this should not be misconstrued which implies the government has changed its stand on the tax.
Yatani said the government is still committed to curbing the social vices that are associated with betting and its impacts, especially on the youth.
“Following consultations and in line with the government commitment, the National Treasury will be proposing to the National Assembly the reintroduction of the excise duty on betting within the next six months,” CS Yatani said in a statement.
In 2018, the government introduced a 25 percent tax on the betting firms and a 20 percent withholding tax on punters winnings.
In 2019, it went ahead and introduced excise duty on betting at 20 percent at the amount staked.
Yatani admitted that there has been a constant pressure by the stakeholders in the sector to reduce the tax.
Members of the Parliamentary Finance Committee removed the tax after one of the betting firms complained about it saying it made many betting companies cash-strapped, therefore, slashing on their sponsorship to local sports clubs.
The Finance Committee bowed to the demand saying the high level of taxation led to people placing bets on foreign platforms that are not subject to tax.
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The MPs argued the arrangement was counterproductive as it is denying the government revenue.
In their report, the legislatures said imposing the tax would reverse the negative effects of the tax on the betting industry.
The Parliament is also one step away from passing the proposed Gaming Bill 2019 which will introduce several taxes to be charged on the operators.
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