Ahead of the Kenyan Revenue Authority’s (KRA) decision regarding a gambling wagers tax, the CEO of Kenya’s Betting Control and Licencing Board (BCLB) called on the country’s bettors to practice greater responsible gambling.

CEO Peter Mbugi emphasised that excessive gambling can lead to addiction and has wider societal impacts for both gamblers’ families and the country at large.

“Gaming itself, when played responsibly, is a good entertainment activity, but when it is turned into a source of livelihood that’s where a problem starts,” he commented.

“When people engage in betting to earn a livelihood, that’s where a problem starts, because once you place your first bet of 100 shillings and it is lost you will go to look for another 100 to save the 100 that is lost – you come, you place it, it is lost. You go and get another 100 to save the now 200 that is lost. 

“That is how one gets engaged, and that is how one gets addicted, and once you are addicted you become a problem gambler, then you become a problem to yourself, you become a problem to your family, you become a problem to society, and at the end of the day you become a problem to the country, because now you become a cabbage, who cannot generate an idea other than placing a bet because you think you can get rich without sweat.”

Mbugi later went into detail on the decision by the KRA to implement a 20% blanket wagering tax across all gambling verticals last month, as part of the revision of the national ‘Finance 2021 Bill’.

“The 20% is not a new thing, it is a reintroduction,” he detailed. “It shouldn’t affect the collaboration that the operators have with teams in this country. It shouldn’t in terms of the sharing of that amount of money, because businesses will not close.

“Even if it reduces the amount of money and the amount of profits that the companies would have, then that is fine because they can share the revenue that they have with the clubs.”

However, the 20% tax was ultimately not implemented, instead being drastically reduced to 7.5%, in a significant boost for the Kenyan betting and gaming market.

The proposed 20% tax rate was suspended following a last-minute injunction by a Nairobi High Court that demanded the KRA to justify the ‘doubling of tax rate that had originally been settled at 10%’.

Source – KTN News Kenya YouTube Channel

Kenyan regulator calls on bettors to practice responsible gambling