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The new Bill was signed into law last week by President Uhuru Kenyatta. /PSCU-FILE.

Kenya

Review 35pc betting tax, President Kenyatta urged

President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Finance Act 2017 this month with the betting and gambling industry being the biggest losers with a 35pc tax/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27 – The Consumer Downtown Association (CDA) held demonstrations on Monday over the Finance Act, 2017, with their grievance being the recently assented Finance Act.

President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Finance Act 2017 this month with the betting and gambling industry being the biggest losers with a 35pc tax.

CDA has filed a petition to President Kenyatta asking him to review the newly uniform 35pc tax law, arguing that the bill was ill motivated and misinformed.

Consumer Downtown Executive Director, Japheth Okumu argued that the bill did not reflect the stakeholders’ input.

Okumu further said that the law will lead to a massive exit of investors who will in turn close shop and shift to other open markets out of the country.

“The 35pc tax across the betting industry is ill motivated aimed at killing the industry and above all it pushes the tax burden to ordinary consumers subscribed to the products and services in the sector,” Okumu complained.

“The Finance Act should not be misunderstood to maim and frustrate the sector that has greatly contributed to employment, corporate social responsibilities, charities and nurturing talent through sports,” said the agitated Okumu.

Earlier this year, the government had proposed to tax betting, lottery and gaming operators at 50pc, a move that drew condemnation from a broad array of the industry’s stakeholders.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich has in the past been quoted saying that the rapid growth of on-line gambling hurts the young and vulnerable.

Betting companies have been increasingly against the taxes citing that the business is a costly undertaking.

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