Kenyan betting stakeholders have warned the government that proposed laws drafted by MP Jakoyo Midiwo may end up stagnating the growing industry and killing off any potential tax revenues.
Represented by industry body the Association of Gaming Operators of Kenya (AGOK), representatives have asked the National Assembly to halt Midiwo’s proposed National Gambling Bill, stating that its industry directives were deeply misguided and uninformed.
Speaking on behalf of industry stakeholders, Ronald Karauri Sportpesa CEO and AGOK Chairman stated that Midiwo had made significant changes to the bill’s original framework adding substantial tax increases that would ‘cripple the industry’.
The AGOK argues that without any industry consultation Kenya Gem MP Midiwo has pushed for a doubling of tax levies on all forms of licensed gambling (betting (15%), gaming (15%), lottery (20%) and prize draws (20%)) creating unsustainable business conditions.
“The Bill requires significant amendments. It would not be the same Bill as it was at the first reading. There appears to be a concerted targeting of the industry through measures that are designed to cripple the industry” Karauri stated to Kenyan media.
Further protesting the bill’s progress, AGOK members have questioned Midiwo’s research and white papers into Kenyan problem gambling, which they state have been ‘wildly exaggerated’ by the MP to promote a false agenda.
Following a number of complaints, AGOK members have asked the Kenyan government to bring clarity to its existing gambling tax framework, as numerous betting operators have fallen foul of double taxation on corporate revenues and net profits.