Local federations and clubs are leaving in fear following the the proposed 50 percent tax on the gaming industry as stipulated in the Finance Bill 2017 that is currently before Parliament.
Stakeholders within the sports circles are worried that the proposed 50 percent tax will have a detrimental effect on the betting companies earnings and will no doubt affect their corporate social responsibility like sponsorship of sports clubs and activities.
“The fifty percent tax that has been proposed coupled with the other tax obligation of the betting firms will render the firms insolvent and unable to lend the support they have been giving to the sports industry,” Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Robert Muthomi revealed.
SportPesa is currently sponsoring 50 percent of the sporting activities in the country.
“We appeal to the government and members of parliament to think through this legislation and address the concerns that we as stakeholders and the betting firms have put forward,” he added.
AFC Leopards chairman Dan Mule, whose club is sponsored by SportPesa alongside their fierce rivals Gor Mahia, said the government plan of redirecting money from betting firms into a sports fund was ill-advised.
He said previously, national teams have struggled to get support from the government for them to honour their assignments and it’s impossible for the government to insinuate that they can sponsor individual clubs through the money they will accrue from taxing betting firms.
“They government has struggled to even to pay tickets for national teams and they is no guarantee they would change. Should the betting firms shut down, we risk similar fate for our cherished clubs. The government needs to heed the cries of stakeholders and stop their proposed 50 percent tax,” Mule remarked.
Kenya Premier League chief operations officer, Frank Okoth, confirmed they already have received a notice of intent to stop sponsorship of the top flight league from SportPesa should the government make good their intention to tax the betting firms fifty percent of their revenue.
A meeting yesterday at a Nairobi hotel was attended by officials from Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Kenyan Premier League, Football Kenya Federation, Boxing Association of Kenya and Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).
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