Kenya is clamping down on sports betting sites

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Regulators in Kenya are camping down on sports betting in the country by imposing new taxes on the country’s biggest companies in the field.

New regulations mean that sports betting companies in Kenya need to pay a 20% tax on stakes. The move has prompted the country’s two industry leaders SportsPesa and Betin to halt business operations in Kenya. This follows existing annual business taxes for sports betting companies and taxes on individuals’ winnings from sports betting.

Kenya takes on sports bettong giants

The new taxes of sport betting firms comes after increasing criticisms for the growing influence of the industries biggest companies and the impact of gambling on society. As seen in many other East African nations, Kenya has seen a sharp rise in problematic gambling, often from young people who develop addictions and unmanageable debt.

SportPesa is the leading sports betting company in East Africa and the company also operates in the UK, as part of its global expansion plans. The company sponsors English Premier League football team, Everton, and the Formula 1 motor-sport team, Racing Point.

However, the Kenyan company is facing public criticism in its home country where people are calling for action to be taken. The problem for Kenya is that any closure of companies the size of SportsPesa will hit the economy. The company says it ill no longer operate in the country until a “non-hostile” environment is re-established.

Featured image: By Raidarmax – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60489526

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.