Government introduces 10% excise duty on betting; increases excise duty on wines, spirits, cigarettes

Treasury CS Henry Rotich
Treasury CS Henry Rotich

National Treasury CS Henry Rotich has proposed to introduce a 10% excise duty on betting activities. Speaking during the presentation of the budget estimates for the fiscal year 2019/2020, Treasury CS Henry Rotich said betting has become widespread and also the subsequent arising effects in the society. “I’ve proposed to introduce excise duty on betting activities at 10% at the amount staked.” The CS later explained that if anyone places a bet on Kshs 100 for example, 10 percent of that will automatically go to the exchequer.

The decision was unpopular with a section of MPs however, who made their displeasure known. Some had proposed a higher excise duty, as high as 30%, to be able to deal with the skyrocketing vice.

Moreover, the CS proposed to increase the rate of excise duty on cigarettes, wines and spirits by 15%. “A 750 ml bottle of wine will have an excise duty of Kshs 136 which is Kshs 18 more on the current state. The duty of a bottle of whisky will go up by Kshs 24 to Kshs 182 for a 750 ml bottle. The excise duty of a packet of 20 cigarettes will increase by Kshs 8 to Kshs 61 per packet.” CS Rotich said this move is to boost excise revenue.