A total of KShs. 4.7 billion (approx. $46m) in taxes has been collected from eight betting firms by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over the last three years, the Business Daily Africa reports.
KRA commissioner general John Njiraini on Tuesday told the Labour and Social Welfare Committee of the country’s National Assembly that tax from betting firms had almost tripled from Sh1.2 billion to Sh3.4 billion in the last two years.
He was leading a team to a meeting with the parliament’s team to discuss the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Bill.
The commissioner general said KRA is about to start implementing changes to the existing law on gambling faulting the law for creating a complex system of taxation that could spark opportunities for disputes.
The east African country’s revenue collector is of the opinion that increasing tax could drive the practice underground and lead to illegal gambling.
“High tax rates for commodities deemed to be socially unacceptable leads to reduced demand and growth of underground channels,” Mr Njiraini told the House team.
Njiraini pointed out that introduction of a tax on winnings and raising tax on betting was acceptable and in line with standard practice across Africa.