SportPesa suspends gaming operations: Sports betting company SportPesa has halted operations in Kenya after an increase in betting taxes. This is happening as concerns about the effects of gambling on the African nation increase.
Online sports betting companies, such as SportPesa, have grown rapidly in the East African country in recent years, generating a surge of interest in betting.
The Kenyan government says the gambling industry generated revenues of $ 2 billion last year.
SportPesa suspends gaming operations: The consequences
The game boom is fueled by a faster Internet, cheaper phones and a passion for the English Premier League. But there is a fear that adults and children will be sucked into a cycle of gambling, debt and poverty.
A government minister called this a “curse for the youth,” and in May the country introduced new gambling regulations, including a ban on outdoor and media advertising.
Parliament has now voted to raise the betting tax from 10% to 20%.
SportPesa said it was “disappointed” with the move and would stop its operations until a “non-hostile regulatory environment” returned. The company has deactivated its website, saying the new tax is increased to 20% on individual player earnings.
“This has serious consequences for licensed gambling companies that are paying their taxes, which will eventually result in a decline in government tax revenue to almost zero and will halt all sports investment in Kenya,” the statement said. company.
“Until proper taxation returns and a non-hostile regulatory environment, the SportPesa brand will disrupt operations in Kenya.”
SportPesa was founded in Nairobi by Kenyans backed by Bulgarian investors. He is currently partnered with Everton and has also partnered with Arsenal, Southampton and Hull City.
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