Ghana’s caretaker Finance Minister Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has identified an increase in gaming tax as a means of assisting with the reconstruction of the country’s economy post-COVID.
This has prompted a call for consultation from the betting industry. Many gamers from within Ghana’s burgeoning community of sports bettors and lottery players have also reacted, with particular concerns expressed at the prospect of a winnings tax.
As reported by Citi Newsroom, in a recent announcement, Minister Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated: “Gaming has become a major income earner all across the globe, and a significant source of government revenue. The influx of online betting and automatisation of a once totally manual process has changed the character of revenue sources from that industry.
“It is estimated that Ghana loses over 300 million Ghana cedis in revenue annually due to leakages in the sector. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior would core supervise the gaming industry, and will soon consult with stakeholders, to formulate a comprehensive policy to improve revenue mobilisation from the source.”
Figures in the industry, such as Godwin Azorku Agbavitor – an accountant for Betika.com.gh – have argued that further engagement with stakeholders is needed before a decision to mobilise revenue is reached.
“Since this is the first time Ghana is going to implement this particular winnings tax, I think that the rate in particular must be very minimal,” he began.
“The reason is we cannot possibly foresee the extent to which the economy is going to react to it. We expect that if it should be done, then it will start from a very small base, and then subsequently escalate depending on how it ends out.”
Other betting industry operators expressed greater concerns, with one sportsbook manager stating that he felt the proposed tax ‘is something that could bring down the business’, and called for the measures to be postponed.
Finally, individual bettors also criticised the plans, with some pointing out that in the absence of stable employment for young people, betting had become an additional source of income for many Ghanians, whilst others argued that the betting operators themselves should be the subject to greater taxation, but not individual players.
Source – CitiTube