KRA trains eyes on betting, lottery, gaming firms to raise revenue


KRA trains eyes on betting, lottery, gaming firms to raise revenue

Betting, lottery and gaming operators will now have to remit taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority on a monthly basis following the operationalization of the Finance Act 2016 clause on betting taxation.

This comes three years after the taxman first introduced measures to tap revenues from the multi billion gambling industry, but has been plagued with challenges.

According to KRA, the law came into effect on the first of January with betting, lottery and gaming companies expected to continuously make provisions for applicable taxes.

“We wish to advice the operators and sector players affected by these changes to compute and account for the applicable taxes to the commissioner by the due date of the 20th day following the month for which the tax return relates,” KRA Commissioner of Domestics Taxes Benson Korongo said in a statement.

According to KRA, a 7.5 percent betting tax will be charged on betting revenue.

Lottery operators will have to part with five percent of lottery turnover while gaming firms will owe the taxman 12 percent of their revenues.

Companies offering special promotions and prizes have not been left out either.

KRA has slapped them with a 15 percent tax on total gross revenue generated during the competition period.

“The monthly fillings of returns and payments will be made on line through the KRA iTax system,” he said.

The Kenya Revenue Authority sees the gambling industry as a low hanging fruit from which to expand its tax base and generate revenue to finance the ever-expanding budget.

In the current fiscal year, KRA has a Sh1.3 trillion target to meet.

Millions of Kenyans have over the last two years taken to sports betting given the high payouts offered.

However lack of concrete data on the industry, estimated at Sh16 billion annually, has made it difficult for KRA to know exactly how much it can raise from the industry.

“This is one of the most complex and emerging sectors of the Kenyan economy,” Mr Korongo told MPs on Tuesday.

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Story By Dennis Otieno
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