Nairobi County lobbies MPs as it targets gaming revenue

July 31, 2018 5:26 pm
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Nairobi Finance Executive Allan Igambi said despite licensing and enforcing of gambling, gaming and lottery activities being a devolved function under the Constitution, the county has always been bypassed when it comes to sharing revenue from the sector/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – The Nairobi County is urging the National Assembly to fast-track passage of the Finance Bill which will see counties get 30 per cent of revenue from gambling.

Nairobi Finance Executive Allan Igambi said despite licensing and enforcing of gambling, gaming and lottery activities being a devolved function under the Constitution, the county has always been bypassed when it comes to sharing revenue from the sector.

“Basically, we just want to align the Gaming and Betting Control Act such that the County Government has a role to play because it’s a devolved function and we feel that most functions are still in the National Government,” said Igambi.

He pointed out that most Casinos are based in Nairobi and that the county should be getting revenue from them.

During this year’s annual budget statement, gambling was listed among Governor Mike Sonko’s targets to raise revenue for the county.

Currently revenue collected from gambling activities is submitted to the National Government.

In June, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said companies in the betting, lottery and gaming sector will also be forced to pay a 20 per cent penalty and 2 per cent interest for delay in payment of taxes.

He said this will enhance the collection of these taxes that are meant to support sports, arts, cultural and social development activities in our country.

“Mr Speaker, currently, there is no penalty or interest on payment of taxes in the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming sector which has led to non-compliance. In order to ensure compliance and prompt payment of taxes, I propose to introduce a 20 per cent penalty and 2 per cent interest on late payment of tax in the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act. This will enhance the collection of these taxes that are meant to support sports, arts, cultural and social development activities in our country.” he said in his Budget Statement.

An attempt by the County Government in 2014 to implement the Nairobi City County Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act 2014, was blocked by the High Court after a city casino argued the law violates the provisions of the Constitution and exposes them to double charges.

According to the casino, players in the industry pay licensing fees demanded by the National Government through the Betting Control and Licensing Board.

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