Kenyan gamblers and drinkers have been dealt a huge blow after Treasury CS Henry Rotich read his 2019-20 budget statement.
In order to obtain funding for the country’s Sh3.02 trillion budget, the government has once again targeted gamblers and alcoholic drinkers for revenue streams.
Rotich proposed the introduction of excise duty on betting activities at the rate of 10 per cent of the amount staked.
This he said is aimed at curtailing the negative effects arising from betting activities.
“Betting has become widespread in our society and its expansion has had negative social effects, particularly to the young and vulnerable members of our society. In order to curtail the negative effects arising from betting activities,” Rotich said.
This comes after MPs last month proposed a law introducing tough tax measures and minimum bets to regulate the industry.
The Gaming Bill 2019, sets hefty licensing fees for companies seeking to set up base in Kenya and raises the minimum amount of a bet.
For the first time, betting firms in the country will be required to pay Sh100 million for gaming securities, to serve as a cushion to gamblers should the betting firms refuse to pay a ‘windfall’.
In the 2019/2020 budget, Rotich proposed excise duties on alcohol and tobacco to be increased.
Under the new proposal, a 750ml bottle of wine will have an excise duty of Sh136 which is Sh18 more from the current rate.
The duty of a bottle of whiskey will go up by Sh24 to Sh182 for a 750ml bottle.
Smokers have also not been spared in the new budget.
The excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes will increase by Sh8 to Sh61 per packet.
– The Star