The National Treasury has announced fresh plans to increase taxes paid by betting companies.
Treasury says it will integrate the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Information Technology systems with those of the betting industry to monitor and enhance tax collections.
“Reforms under the revenue administration by KRA have been scaled up. Treasury, jointly with the KRA, is making improvements on tax administrative measures in order to ensure revenue collection remains on target,” said Treasury Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo yesterday in Nairobi. “These include implementation of a new web-based improved VAT system, integration of KRA system with the betting sector and mapping of rental properties.”
The gaming industry relies on computer systems for operating gaming devices, gaming floor security, and gathering and storing player data, among other functions, all of which the Treasury reckons can be leveraged by the taxman to track betting activity for tax compliance.
Betting firms licenced to operate in Kenya have hit 100, defying State policy to clamp down on gambling through the imposition of higher taxes both on the firms and punters.
The list of betting firms licensed for the year ending June 2022 published by the Betting and Licensing Control Board (BCLB) increased to 100 from 76 in a similar period a year earlier—reflecting a 31.5 per cent growth.
Kenyans spent Sh169.1 billion to place bets through Safaricom’s M-Pesa in the year to March 2022.