Kenyan Gambling Tax Hike Leads to Sports Sponsorship Turmoil

Kenyan Gambling Tax Hike Leads to Sports Sponsorship TurmoilKenya’s government seems to be learning a tough lesson in setting reasonable tax rates for businesses after the country’s leading betting firm withdrew all sponsorship from a number of sports teams in the country in response to a massive gambling tax rate hike from 7.5% to 35%.

A tax rate increase on the industry was originally proposed back in June, with many MPs at the time calling out for it to be set at 50%. After gambling companies voiced their opposition to the move, many members of Parliament pointed out that Kenya would still have a lower tax rate than many other countries such as Denmark, Austria, and Germany. One of the politicians was MP Irungu Kang’ata, who explaining his point of view on the issue, stated:

“It is within the range of other ‘sin taxes’ like cigarettes and alcohol. In fact, gambling is not an economic activity that adds value to society.”

In the meantime, SportsPesa opposed and challenged the move every step of the way in court. Following the high court’s recent decision to support the increase, SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri subsequently announced his decision to pull the company’s financial support for Kenya’s sports teams, stating that he was left with no other choice. Amongst the teams that will now be affected by the decision are soccer clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, with the latter saying that it would not be able to pay salaries or honor its continental engagements due to a lack of funding. As a result, the team’s Chairman, Dan Mule, has pleaded with the government to delay its decision and reopen dialogue with SportPesa and other gambling companies operating in the country.

In the absence of a positive outcome, however, Gor Mahia said that his club would have to resort to selling branded bread and having a Paybill number placed on the players’ shirts in order to make ends meet. Things do not seem too hopeful right now, though, with some MPs accusing SportPesa of using underhand tactics. As MP Hillary Kosgey was keen to point out:

“They get money from Kenyans and it is only fair that the profits they make go into serving Kenyans in economic development. We will not allow [SportPesa] to blackmail the government.”

Poker News
2017 WSOPE Champ Martí Roca Signs with 888poker Spain
27 May 2018
As Europe’s shared online poker liquidity gathers momentum across national borders, major operators have been looking to recruit ambassadors to help promote their brands on the continent and around the world. One of the companies hoping to make inroads into the Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French markets is 888Poker, which has now signed the 2017
09 Apr 2018
Ahead of its ICO (initial coin offering) next month, Ethereum-based online poker room Cryptonia Poker has announced that Scotty Nguyen has been made the site’s official brand ambassador. It speaks highly of Cryptonia Poker that the legendary poker pro has agreed to promote the site, which aims to brings together the excitement of playing poker
15 Mar 2018
US pro Bryn Kenney has just signed a sponsorship deal with online poker site GGpoker, which runs on an Asian poker network called GGNetwork, but also offers its product in Canada, Europe, and South America. According to PokerScout, the GGNetwork is currently the 8th biggest network in the world with a 7-day average of 1,050
07 Mar 2018
At a time when poker sponsorship deals are harder to come by than ever, especially for US players, one pro whose contract remains secure, even after 15 years of being sponsored by PokerStars, is that of the 2003 WSOP Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker. That year, the former accountant helped spark the “poker boom” after