Online betting company SportPesa has written to all the clubs and federations on their payroll that it will withdraw their sponsorship should Treasury’s proposal to increase betting tax to 50% comes into force.
Officials from Kenyan Premier League, Kenya Rugby Union, Football Kenya Federation, Basketball Association of Kenya as well as various clubs within those federations on Friday conformed receipt of the letter indicating that should the bill come into force, SportPesa will either “review or terminate” financial agreements currently in pace.
According to SportPesa, they will not be able to meet their obligations if the high tax comes into force, meaning that they will have to scale down on the monies remitted to the different federations and clubs.
For this, representatives from clubs and federations converged at a Nairobi hotel yesterday where they issued a passionate plea asking legislators to reject the “potentially devastating” proposal.
“If adopted, the implications are clear, a complete business shutdown. It will wipe off huge investments in infrastructure, marketing, sports sponsorships, social investments, taxes to the exchequer and other positive multiplier effect,” FKF Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi (pictured) said.
“We have looked at our records and in the last five years, we have received less than Sh20 million from government. Yet we have about ten international assignments every year. Without SportPesa we will be under the water. Enough is enough from this government,” KRU chairman Richard Omwela said.
Betting companies, led by SportPesa, have lately been on the forefront of providing sponsorship for local sports teams and federations.