Sport Pesa will terminate its contracts with its partners if members of parliament pass a law that will see a 50 percent tax and 30 percent corporate tax increase they will be required to pay the tax man. The organization this morning informed its partners through a letter that they will terminate sponsorship opportunities if the bill went through. This follows the announcement by Treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich to impose a 50 percent tax on all betting companies in Kenya as a measure to curb gambling.
Different organizations including sports teams bring sponsored by the company came out strongly opposing the bill and asking members of parliament to reject it and threatened to demonstrate if they dont.The organization has transformed millions of lives through employment,sponserships and winning of jackpots just recently giving 221 million Kenya shillings to one of its lucky winners.
Head of operations and Coordination Extreme sports Limited said ‘The natural decision for the betting firm is to cut costs and scale down on sponsorship investments. The already ailing sports industry which was only starting to witness a glimmer of hope shall inevitably crumble. We strongly believe that it is not the intention of the government to render thousands of young people idle and jobless. We hereby wish to request the government to reconsider the decision and allow for dialogue with stakeholders before this punitive and self-defeating tax regime is introduced.’
The betting company is now looking to set up shop in other African countries that have lenient rules on betting such as Tanzania. The move is set to leave thousands of Kenyans jobless and reduce economic growth that the betting company has greatly improved over the years. The organization sponsors 60 percent of sporting activities in Kenya while the remaining 40 percent is sponsored by other sponsors. It has also brought tremendous growth in the development of grass root football in the country.
Sportpesa in conjunction with Extreme Sports Limited supports 120 football clubs, 2000 players, hundreds of club officials, referees, match stewards and administrators. It also benefits indirectly small traders, security personnel and marketing firms. The two parties have been able to provide alternative social activity for more than 5000 youth and this has strengthened Kenya’s social fabric because unemployment goes hand in hand with insecurity.
SportPesa is a globally known Kenya-based sports betting website that is owned and operated by Pevans East Africa Limited. The website is licensed by the Betting Control Licensing Board (BCLB) under the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act and also broke convention in the industry by creating a community involved gaming brand that is deeply committed to Sports development in local communities in Kenya.