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NEWS 31 May 2017

Kenyan MPs reject 50% gambling tax

By Robert Simmons
Members of Parliament in Kenya have overwhelmingly rejected the introduction of measures that would see the country's gambling tax rise to 50%.

Current legislation applies a 7.5% tax on sports betting, with a 5% tax on lotteries and a 15% tax rate on cash prize competitions.

The Kenyan parliament voted last week to only apply the 50% tax rate to gaming, lottery and other revenues, keeping the current 7.5% rate on sports betting. However Kenyan lawmakers called for a second vote on the issue, culminating yesterday with the rejection of the proposed tax changes on all gambling categories.

Kenyan Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich, the chief proponent of the 50% tax rate rise, said that the hike was meant to discourage problem gambling, with the additional proceeds being used to fund cultural and arts programmes across Kenya.

Announcing the proposed rise earlier this year he said: “The expansion of the industry has had negative social effects on society, especially on the youth and vulnerable members of society.”
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