A National Assembly committee has rejected all the proposed amendments to the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act, including the review of the 35 per cent taxation to 15 per cent.
The Sports, Culture and Tourism Committee termed the review of the taxes for the betting firms as suspicious, and agreed to overhaul the whole Act and create a new one.
The committee chaired by Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka proposed that different gaming activities need to considered for different tax regimes.
“After a careful review of the proposed amendments vis-a-vis the existing law, the committee members have unanimously decided that the existing law requires a thorough mop-up. The Act is outdated having being enacted in 1966,” he said.
“Furthermore, it is the feeling of this committee that the proposed amendments do not address the fact that technology has advanced and modern gaming and gambling are largely anchored on online platforms,” he added.
The legislator further noted that also missing in the proposed amendments is any law or legal framework under which online gambling can be checked and regulated.
Mr Munyaka pointed out that the proposed laws should also envisage the roles of the Communication Authority and Kenya Revenue Authority in licensing and tracking online gaming.
The committee also wants police to have a role in monitoring any monies passing through the online betting platforms, which could be used to finance tourism.
The proposed lower rate of tax on betting firms from 35 per cent to 15 per cent is contained in a Bill tabled in Parliament last month by Majority Leader Aden Duale. “The bill seeks to amend the Act to reduce the amount of betting and lottery tax payable by operators,” reads the bill. The tax cut proposal, if approved by Parliament, will be a boon to betting firms that opposed the new tax that took effect on January 1.