KPL urges govt to re-evaluate tax policy on betting firms

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Jack Oguda addresses the media at a Nairobi Hotel in Nairobi ...
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Jack Oguda addresses the media at a Nairobi Hotel in Nairobi on April 26, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

The Kenyan Premier League Limited has appealed to the government re-evaluate the taxing proposal on betting, lottery, gaming and competition firms but it should evaluate to introduce a uniform 50 percent tax across board.

Earlier this month, the government proposed the new taxation policy, termed by sports fraternity as unhealthy to the affected firms whose sponsorship for sports institutions has been tremendous in the country.

“KPL would like to petition the Government to re-evaluate its recent budgetary proposal to introduce a uniform 50% tax across board on betting, lottery, gaming and competition firms.

“It is one of the many sporting institutions in the country, which has benefited greatly from sponsorship by betting firms and if this industry struggles to meet their business targets, they will be forced to withdraw funding to sporting institutions,” read part of KPL’s statement, signed by CEO Jack Oguda.

Apart from KPL as an institution, four top-flight  football clubs; AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia, Mathare United and Sofapaka, are sponsored by betting firms and through the funding the league and the clubs have been able to meet the cost of operations of the various aspects that the sports sector demands, the KPL wrote.

KPL also expressed fears that the clubs sponsored by the firms may not survive in the league if the proposed policy is implemented.

“Clubs are able to meet Match day expenses (hiring of government owned sports facilities, ambulances, police officers, ball boys, ticket firms, as well as PR & Marketing firms, match day travel and accommodation among others.

“Other costs like salaries and allowances of players, technical bench members, Referees, Match Commissioners, Stewards and other staff working directly or indirectly during the Match day events are met through these firms’ sponsorships.

“From this alone it is clear that there are other industries which benefit from a vibrant sports industry which is currently anchored on the success and exponential growth of betting firms,” argued KPL.

According to KPL,the gains made by the sports sector on the back of sports betting firms’ sponsorship will therefore be negated and reversing the retrogression will not be easy even with the creation of the National, Sports, Culture and Arts Fund.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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