The government of Kenya is looking to increase the tax rate on player winnings by proposing a 20% withholding tax.
The claim is being made by the Daily Nation newspaper and cites a statement by David Gichohi, a government official during a business conference in Nairobi where he said that punters will soon no longer be able to keep 100% of their winnings. The Kenyan government currently charges a 16% tax to gambling operators, but leaves players untouched, meaning that a significant revenue generator is untapped.
Casinos operating in the African nation are opposed to the tax, fearing that it could harm business in the future. One casino manager by the name of Fridah Mwebia said that "Our members will meet in December to discuss what steps we are going to take against this move.”
Another spokesperson for Babylon Casino said: “If they (government) want (to do this), they should levy the 20% tax directly on the winning customers. If it is directed to the casinos, it is impractical."
The Association of Gaming Operators-Kenya (AGOK) also stated that they are against the new tax and have presented its viewpoint to the parliamentary budget committee.
The proposed tax increase is the second that the Kenyan government has tried to enact. A previous attempt to put a 5% excise tax into order was ruled illegal by a court after Kenyan Casinos sued.