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Gamblers To Pay 20 Percent Tax To KRA Off Their Winnings



All cleared Betting firms have started deducting 20 percent withholding tax from gamblers winnings as they comply with directives from the Government.

The move is despite an April court order that bars the betting firms from deducting and remitting the money to KRA until a case by one of their customers challenging the taxation of winnings is heard and determined.
The taxes were introduced last year by the Finance Act 2018 but have faced litigation and delaying implementation.

For instance, BetLion, one of the firms that have complied with the directive by the Betting Control and Licensing Board and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), has notified customers that it would be deducting 20 percent from their winnings and remitting it to the taxman.

This means that customers will now get 80 percent of the potential winnings going forward. As a business, we hope that customers continue to engage in responsible gaming,” said the BetLion.

The revised taxation laws are a pragmatic response to a growing and vibrant industry.
The Government and the industry have been in a push and pull about taxing prize money for some time now, with the former appearing to have won last year with the passing of the Finance Act 2018, which slapped winners with the withholding tax.

KRA has since notified gamblers that it expects betting firms to deduct and remit the taxes. “Betting companies, are required to withhold winnings at a rate of 20 percent.

What this means is that if you place a bet, for instance of a win of Sh50,000 you will only receive Sh40,000. according to the taxman, the balance of Sh10,000 is withheld by the betting company and then later remitted to KRA.

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Even though the Kenyan government is committed to collect as much revenue as possible, the percentage the government has imposed on these betting companies will only mean the gamblers, who majority are poor rather unemployed youths will be carrying the burden of massive loss on their bets.

In my opinion, we can’t have a serious government taxing the gamblers, we all, if not a few, know that all of these companies are involved in a soft fraud and match-fixing to boost their profits.  We ought to have a government that should be discouraging the youths from betting and gambling, not an administration that wants to overtax the already overtaxed gambling generation and nation.

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