Sports Federations urge government to reconsider Betting bill

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri (left) together with FKF president Nick Mwendwa
Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri (left) addressing the press together with FKF president Nick Mwendwa in a past function

Sports federations in Kenya have urged the government not to pass the Betting Control Bill, which advocates for 50% taxation for all gaming and betting companies after Sportpesa indicated they’ll be forced to terminate their sponsorships if the bill is enacted. Sportpesa has set its foundation deep in the sports arena in Kenya, with the Kenya Rugby Union, Football Kenya Federation, AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia some of the teams and federations sponsored by them. “Should they walk out, it will mean the clubs have no money to pay their players,” said Frank Okoth, Kenya Premier League Chief Operations officer, “It will directly affect their players and families.” He urged the MPs to consider the issue.

Moreover, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Robert Muthomi said the betting companies continue to play a key developmental role in Kenyan football. His sentiments were echoed by Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Richard Omwela who said if the law is enacted, there will be a loss of jobs across the board, “Where in the world do people pay 50% tax and pay 30% corporate tax. Not to mention that they haven’t paid their salaries,” said Omwela. National Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich unveiled the increased taxation plan on betting and gaming firms during the presentation of the Budget in Parliament on March this year.