President Uhuru recommends 35 percent tax on betting

President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has recommended that betting, lotteries and gaming activities should be taxed at the rate of 35 percent.

The President made the recommendation in a memorandum to the Speaker of the National Assembly after rejecting to assent to the Finance Bill, 2017, which was meant to amend the laws relating to various taxes and duties.

The President said he has rejected the Bill because Parliament deleted the clause that was designed to discourage the youth from engaging in betting.

The purpose of Amendment of Section 59 B of Cap 469 was to “discourage Kenyans, and especially the youth, in directing their focus on betting, lottery and gaming activities instead of productive economic engagement, a vice that is likely to degenerate into a social disaster.”

The proposal, which read, “29. Section 59B of the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act is amended in subsection (1) by deleting the word “fifteen” and substituting therefor the word “fifty” was however dropped when Parliament passed the Bill.

“This totally negates the spirit underlying the proposal to have the betting tax rasied as pointed above,” said the President in his proposal signed today.

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He has recommended that Clause 29 of the Bill be reinstated with amendment to read: “Section 59B of the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act is amended in subsection (1) by deleting the word “fifteen” and substituting therefor the words “thirty-five.”

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