SportPesa reaches out to the government to solve tax impasse

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SportPesa invests approximately a half a billion annually in sports sponsorships

Betting firm, SportPesa is now reaching out to the government with fresh demands as the weighty proposed tax increment on betting and gambling revenues takes a different path.

The government increased tax rates on gambling revenue to 35 per cent last year, a move that was fiercely protested by SportPesa who threw tantrums by withdrawing all its sponsorship in all sports activities in the country.

But with the government holding her grounds, the gaming giant has now taken a more diplomatic approach to the matter having tabled a proposal that may end the two-month impasse.

SportPesa has requested the Treasury for tax 'exemption' equivalent to the funding the firm pumps into the development of the game locally.

“We are eager to continue to support the sports industry in Kenya having made huge strides in the recent past. To that end, we wish to suggest that we be allowed to deduct as an expense all sponsorship amounts payable for the month that they are due at the time of calculating and remitting the monthly taxes.

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“We are aware, from various reports, that the funding of sports will be added to the list of items that are tax deductible, a solution we gladly welcome. We are, however, not clear on how this exercise is to be implemented,” the firm’s CEO, Ronald Karauri said in a letter to Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich.

SportPesa invests approximately a half a billion annually in sports sponsorships.

Among the affected following SportPesa withdrawal were Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Kenyan Premier League Limited, Football Kenya Federation, Nakuru Allstars among others.

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