While Kenya’s betting companies are possibly receiving their long-awaited tax relief, they may face new restrictions in terms of how they can advertise their products.
According to a report by Kenyan media outlet The Star, the National Finance and Planning Committee of the Kenyan parliament has recommended a 20% reduction in uniform tax on all gaming revenue. This will bring the tax rate from 35% down to 15%. The Committee has also suggested lowering the share directed towards social causes from 25% to 5%.
The 35% uniform tax was introduced on 1st January, despite gaming operators’ opposition based on the concern that the new rate would cause a 50% drop in their margins. As a result, some betting companies decided to cut down their local operations, while some others, for example, SportPesa, ceased their sponsorships with local sports.
Despite the good news, the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) is now proposing to prohibit gambling-related advertising between 5am to 10pm everyday. Same as gaming advertising restrictions in other countries such as Italy, the proposal is seen as a way to prevent children from becoming problem gamblers.
According to The Nairobi News, KFCB CEO Ezekiel Mutua stated that his organisation would be “stern” with media outlets that continue to air gambling advertisements during the watershed period. He warned that legal actions would be initiated if media outlets did not agree to the line.