KRA under fire for favoring some betting firms over others

Image result for kra offices

KRA offices at Times Tower. Photo: Courtesy

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has come under fire for defying courts in denying the gambling firms licences from MPs and Kenyans online.

Government, through Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), ordered Safaricom to suspend M-Pesa payment systems and SMS codes of all the non-tax compliant gambling entities starting July 12.

KRA told the Senate that the dispute with betting firms arose after the enactment of the new law that changed the definition of bet winnings, placing new demands on betting firms that are expected to withhold 20 percent of the winnings.

Image result for sportpesa offices nairobi

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri. Photo: Courtesy

Betting firms, including SportPesa, Betin Kenya and Bet Pawa, had court orders stopping the withdrawal of their permits following the tax rows.

The Senate Committee on Justice, Legal and Human Rights has accused KRA and BCLB for impunity for suspending operations of the companies as well as to deport some of their directors when the matter was pending before the High Court.

The committee chaired by Samson Cheragei (Nandi) summoned the BCLB and Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i for acting against court orders.

Some Kenyans speculate that the state agency was compromised to suspend Sportpesa in order to eliminate the main competition in the gambling industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *