Higher gambling taxes in Kenya


It seems that the year 2017 will be long remembered in the online gaming industry. Players in many countries have to face new regulations, more strict rules, and, like in Kenya, higher taxes. Kenyan gambling market introduced a new law and it may be painful for all online games, lotteries, sportsbooks, and competitions.

Do we need changes?

As seen on news, taxes on Kenyan online betting market will go up and it will be a big change. Depends on the company providing gambling services, the amount of taxes may be doubled, in worst cases even six times higher.

The idea of uniform tax put on all gambling activities was first proposed at the end of May. Henry Rotich, the Treasury Secretary, wanted to put a 50% revenue tax on all the active operators. The proposal was even placed in the Finance Bill in Kenya. However, the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, did not sign the document and declined the offer. The President still believes that raising the amount of taxes is necessary for the safety of Kenyan teenagers, in order to keep them away from getting too involved in gambling and other online betting activities. A new proposal came from Aden Duale, the Assembly Majority Leader, who suggested 35% revenue tax on gambling operations.

About the future

Betting market in Kenya is one of the most famous and best-established ones. Native companies offering gambling services, like SportPesa, even managed to find their way into foreign betting markets. Before the government announced the new rules, the tax rates were on an affordable level, standing at 5% for lotteries, 12% for gaming, and 15% on competitions.

The President of Kenya signed the new regulations on June 19th. The 35% tax, proposed earlier by Duale, has gotten a House Finance Committee approval. Although it is a better option for the operators, than the first offer of 50% taxes, it will still cause chaos on the betting market. In Kenya betting websites not only have to pay the revenue tax but also a 30% corporate tax. With new higher rates, Kenyan economy may actually feel the change, as the companies will not have a high income, and it will not be enough for the country to keep a decent profit from it.

Decision has been made

New gambling regulations will definitely cause even bigger changes on the betting market. According to the local newspaper, The Star, who has been in touch with the manager or Kenyan Betway, this may result in local operators seeking better options abroad and moving their businesses to other countries to operate under different licenses.


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