SportPesa will reconsider Kenyan market following tax ruling

By Owain Flanders

SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri has said the operator will reconsider operations in Kenya following the overruling of a 20% tax on winnings.

The company recently halted operations in the country after the Government imposed the 20% excise tax on all betting stakes.

Speaking with Gambling Insider at the time, Karauri explained how the tax made it unfeasible to remain in the market.

He said: "This is expected to be a 20% tax on the amount staked. The fact we already have a tax on winnings means the business model completely collapses."

At a recent hearing, the Kenyan Tax Appeals Tribunal overturned the excise tax, ruling that "total winnings" as stipulated in the tax do not include the amounts originally staked by the bettor.

In a statement released to Gambling Insider, Karauri said: "Today’s ruling is a significant development for both SportPesa and the wider betting sector in Kenya, reversing previous government policy that had rendered the sector commercially and economically unviable.

"SportPesa will now re-consider the future of its operations in Kenya. We remain committed to working closely with all stakeholders in Kenya as we seek to renew our license and resume our operations in the near future."

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