Why Mariga’s Betting Firm Is Firing Staff in their Thousands

Betin Ambassador McDonald Mariga on a billboard. PHOTO: Courtesy

Barely a month after Kenya’s biggest betting firm exited the market, McDonald Mariga’s Betin firm has rolled out a plan to fire thousands of staff in protest to the Government’s tax policy.

Betin is poised to fire some 2500 workers spread across their 500 outlets in a bid to stay afloat.

Since the introduction of an excise tax of 20 per cent on all stakes, the betting companies have been in court with the Government in unending legal battles.

Early in August, SportPesa exited the Kenyan market while Betin announced it would be laying off staff after the Government failed to renew its license.

Both SportPesa and Betin had their licenses revoked after failing to comply with the tax regulations and remitting billions of shillings to Kenya Revenue Authority.

Betin issued notices to its staff advising them to be aware of an imminent lay-off as the firm was out of business and no longer able to foot their salaries.

The sports industry has taken a hit after the exit of the two major sponsors who contributed an upwards of Sh600 million towards football.

Among the clubs that directly benefitted from Sportpesa sponsorships were Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

Other beneficiaries were The Kenya Premier League and Federation of Kenya Football (FKF).

“ I agree betting should be regulated but also the government should look into a way of tapping into it as there are hazards in betting. However, there are also good things that come with it,” said FKF President Nick Mwendwa in an earlier interview.


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