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KRA gains more from gaming and betting collections

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) today conducted a sensitisation forum on betting tax which aims to provide detailed insights and create awareness on betting tax, its impact on revenue mobilisation, integration with betting firms and compliance.

The KRA’s Chief Manager Domestic Taxes Department Miriam Sila stated that the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) regulates the betting and gaming sector while working with other multi agencies to check on compliance of the companies.

She disclosed that there are over one hundred and seventy firms licensed to operate in the country.

“There are over fifty licensed Casinos in Kenya, most of which are in major cities. Blackjack, Roulette and Poker are among the most popular table games in Kenya,” added Sila.

Sila stated that the betting companies are required to register for tax through the iTax system which is a fully integrated and automated web-based system.

The system allows taxpayers to register for various tax obligations and update their PIN registration details, file returns for various tax obligations, make status enquires with real-time monitoring of their ledger/account income and apply for waiver of penalties and interests.

“The taxman boasts a gross turnover of Ksh50 billion. KRA has linked its systems with sixteen sports gaming firms and hopes to additionally merge with 20 more companies which will be equivalent to a 96 percent stake in the market,” stated Sila.

Sila affirmed that betting companies now remit taxes daily and are allocated to account managers who follow up on the payment by logging in each companies Payment Registration Number (PRN).

She revealed that in the financial year 2021/2022, the taxman collected Sh21 billion, the highest amount recorded yet since the collection of betting and gaming tax.

The Chief Manager said that KRA has estimated a target collection of Sh24 billion and that so far, the firm has collected Ksh15. 8 billion from betting, lottery and gaming.

Sila added that Gaming is popular among the youth thus the proceeds received from withholding taxes are paid to sports, arts and social development fund which fund activities undertaken by youths.

She noted that there are various challenges in the industry including coordination with BCLB whose work is still manual, balancing tax collection and protection of the youth through harmful gambling activities and lobbying power from the sector players to change laws.

Sila said the industry has come up with strategies to ensure compliance within such as conducting tax payer engagement to educate them on any new tax laws, liaising closely with internal departments for intelligence gathering and data sharing from the regulator (BCLB) and other agencies to enhance motoring.

By Trepher Leslie 

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