Kenyan BCLB reinstates Betway’s licence after 20% tax introduction

The Kenyan regulator has decided to reinstate Betway’s operator licence after the bookmaker had agreed to introduce a controversial 20% tax on sports betting winnings.

Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) announced the tax this week, and has since reinstated Betway’s licence after a month-long absence from then Kenyan market.

Previously, the 20% tax was only applicable to the winnings for a sports bet, but under the BCLB’s new proposals, the tax will now apply to the stake placed. This controversial decision has led to legal battles and the revoking of the operating license for Betway and 26 other operators.

The announcement that Betway would be allowed to operate in Kenya was announced on the bookmaker’s Twitter account. The operator has since specified that the tax would be implemented to ensure “full compliance” for current taxation rules and laws as confirmed in a separate statement.

The BCLB had previously suspended the licences of 27 bookmakers, with the regulatory body detailing that it would not stop its strong-arm tactics until the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) had managed to recover billions in ‘contested’ industry taxes.

In addition to this, the regulator had reached out to three of Kenya’s biggest mobile payment providers and requested that they stop processing payments for the 27 bookmakers.

Sports betting operators have previously come under fire in Kenya amid claims of high gambling addiction rates in the African country.

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