10,000 Kenyans Risk Joblessness As 35% Tax Hits Casinos

Owners and bosses of Kenyan casinos have raised a warning on massive losses and closures if authorities reject a reversal on the recent increase in taxes.
The industry generates annual revenues of about 2 billion shillings.

Analysts say that once the taxes are in force, it will not be possible to shoulder the burden. Several casinos have expressed their inability to absorb the new 35% tax.
Casinos were initially required to pay 12% in taxes and the players in the betting and gaming industries have tried to convince the government to reconsider the policy. The government has however insisted that they will continue with the plan. Deputy President William Ruto said that the tax rate is not negotiable and promised that the government will help fund deficits after giant bookmaker SportPesa withdrew sports sponsorship.

“We cannot pass on the 35 percent tax to consumers by changing our odds or increasing our income. If we are forced to cease operations, we will lose trained employees and pay terminal dues, making it very difficult to revive the industry at a later date," said an official.

He added that should casinos close up shop, the business will either go offshore or underground.

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