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Kenya moves to crack down on tax-dodging gambling companies


THE overhaul of Kenya’s gambling industry is gaining speed, as senior ministers hint at harsh penalties for gambling companies that try and avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Kenya is planning new regulations that focus on licensing and a much stricter approach to compliance.

In a statement to the public this week Kenya’s Interior Minister, Dr Fred Matiang’i, fired a warning to bookmakers and companies taking advantage of their gambling licenses, saying his government will “turn betting inside out”, committing to suspending licenses from July 1 if companies do not pay their taxes in full.

Matiang’i has reportedly ordered the country’s Betting Control and Licensing Board to adopt a much stricter interpretation of the tax laws.

In addition to tax dodgers, Matiang’i made reference to a very controversial and talked-about issue apparently plaguing the country, youth and underage gambling.

BettingPlanet has reported on Kenya’s betting trends over the last two years and there’s no doubt that Kenya may have a youth gambling problem.

According to a survey in 2017 from GeoPoll, 76 per cent of 17-35 year olds in Kenya are gambling. An incredible 79 per cent of those are punting their hard-earned on soccer.

The news of Kenya’s crackdown on gambling tax follows the threat from neighbouring Uganda, where President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has begun the process of banning sports betting.

Could Kenya go down that path? Or will bookmakers and gambling license holders play ball?

We’ll watch this space.

Latest Kenya & Uganda betting news

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