Gamblers rejoice as court overturns betting tax enacted by MPs

The law that imposed a 7.5% excise charge on lottery tickets has now been crushed in court. Casino operators and gamblers also got a reprieve.

The court invalidated the excise charge since there was no public input when it was imposed in the Finance Act 2021.

The now-repealed law mandated that betting companies withhold and transfer Sh75 of every Sh1,000 wagered, whether the gambler wins or loses.

The excise duty Act’s paragraphs 4b and 4d were declared invalid by Judge Antony Mrima.

“Going by the gravity of the submissions made by the participants during the public meetings on betting, there is no doubt that the public ought to have been accorded an opportunity to also express themselves on the issues of gaming and lottery. That opportunity was, however, not accorded,” the court said.

The Association of Gaming Operators had contended that the law was unconstitutional and that gambling and lotteries were not subject to excise because neither a good nor a service were being delivered.

They said that the proposed levy was excessive and would discourage investment from the market.


Written by Brian Mayodi

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