President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that the government doesn’t harbour intentions of killing the betting industry. This follows complaints from gaming stakeholders, and Kenyans after National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the government plans to impose 50% tax on the revenues of betting, gaming companies. Speaking in Nairobi during the launch of the government’s development portal, President Uhuru Kenyatta said they had a genuine concern about the betting trend in Kenya, “We were very concerned with the rise in betting, especially amongst the school going children,” said President Kenyatta.
He said technology has had a positive impact, but it also has a downside. “As a government, we wanted to ensure as a government, the money used for betting should instead go to causes that benefit the same young people,” said President Kenyatta. He said there has been an outcry from the gaming industry about the tax decision, which was revealed during the presentation of the national budget.
However, President Kenyatta said its better to target a high level when it comes to setting the tax standard, “I rather go high than too low.” He has urged stakeholders to come forward and engage with the government, citing that they don’t have an agenda against the gaming and betting companies. “We have a reasonable and responsible Minister and parliament,” he said, “We can review this because our agenda is not to kill the industry, but to take care of some of the problems the industry has caused.” He reiterated that a good portion of the income derived from the industry will eventually help the youth and cater for social causes in the country.