Betting firms sees ill motive over 50% tax imposed on them

despite betting companies being seen as a job opportunities in the country, critics still believes it has a very bad impact to the community especially among youths

By Linda Kiyeng

Sport Pesa might termite its partner’s contracts if members of august house will adopt the treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich proposal to impose a 50 percent tax on all betting companies in Kenya as a measure to curb gambling.

One of the betting firm, Sport Pesa, has already informed its partners through a letter that they is a possibility to terminate sponsorship opportunities if the bill will go through. Meanwhile, the company is strongly opposing the bill urging members of parliament to reject it because it not only kills the lucrative industry but also putting their beneficiary at risk of losing jobs.

Which way: betting firms vs the government policy
Which way: betting firms vs the government policy

The organization has transformed millions of lives through employment, sponsorships and winning of jackpots just recently giving 221 million Kenya shillings to one of its luckiest winners.

Head of operations and Coordination Extreme sports Limited said “The natural decision for the betting firm is to cut costs and scale down on sponsorship investments. The already ailing sports industry which was only starting to witness a glimmer of hope shall inevitably crumble. We strongly believe that it is not the intention of the government to render thousands of young people idle and jobless. We hereby wish to request the government to reconsider the decision and allow for dialogue with stakeholders before this punitive and self-defeating tax regime is introduced.”

The betting companies is now considering to set up shop in other African countries that have lenient rules on betting such as Tanzania; a move that might set thousands of Kenyans jobless as well reduce economic growth that the betting company has greatly improved over the years. SportPesa alone sponsor’s about 60 percent of sporting activities in Kenya while the remaining 40 percent is sponsored by other companies which has already brought tremendous growth in the development of grass root football in the country.

Sportpesa in conjunction with Extreme Sports Limited supports 120 football clubs, 2000 players, hundreds of club officials, referees, match stewards and administrators. It also benefits indirectly small traders, security personnel and marketing firms. The two parties have been able to provide alternative social activity for more than 5000 youth and this has strengthened Kenya’s social fabric because unemployment goes hand in hand with insecurity.

SportPesa is a globally known Kenya-based sports betting website that is owned and operated by Pevans East Africa Limited. The company is also licensed and operates in four other core markets such as Tanzania, South Africa, Isle of Man and United Kingdom, where it operates in conjunction with the well-established company TGP Europe.

It boasts a commitment to invest in the development of the local communities through local sports leagues, tournaments and exposure to globally recognized training talent and role models. In 2017 the betting firm became the official African Betting Partner of La Liga, which took on a deeper engagement in the African continent and their commitment to contribute high quality footballs, playing kits, training expertise and public viewing events for those who have not had the opportunity to experience the joy of football.