“Serious consequences” for Kenya’s sports industry and gambling income are on the horizon following the announcement that both SportsPesa and Betin will cease activities in the nation.
The step follows a long standoff with the Kenyan govt on a shift to a legal proposal that saw a 20% tax rise on match, gambling, and lottery wins.
SportsPesa released a statement which read: “This will have severe consequences for licensed betting companies, which dutifully pay their taxes and ultimately will lead to a decline in government tax revenue to near zero and will halt all investments in sports in kenya.”
Despite this, the provider of sports betting intends to return to Kenya, this time focusing on its profitable gaming industry. However, its return to the African country will rely on whether or not the state reconsiders and conducts ‘ adequate taxation and a non-hostile regulatory environment.’ Betin, who joins SportsPesa when it leaves the Kenyan industry, has terminated all its staff and mentions redundancy, frustration, high taxation as well as the inability of the govt to renew its working permit as a renewal.
Betin has not reached an arrangement with the Kenyan government and has published a memo stating: “As a result of the deterioration of the profitability, the management has had to rethink its operating model and to proceed with the exercise of termination on account of redundancy.”
Kenya, now facing a decline in income, has been one of the fastest increasing gambling industries in latest years and is presently seeing its gaming sector generating up to $2 billion annually.