Kenyan casinos warn about taxation

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Casinos in Kenya have warned the government it could lose 10,000 jobs if they keep the 35 per cent tax on revenue.

Kenya.- “The casino industry survival is under threat.” Without hesitating, Golden Key Casino director Martin Dunford warned the government in a letter to the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) about the potential loss of 10,000 jobs in the Kenyan casino segment if a 23 per cent raise on gaming revenue taxes stands.

Currently, casinos pay a 12 per cent tax on turnover and, according to Mr Dunford, the business “doesn’t see how it can possibly survive a tax of 35 per cent on gross revenue” as they “can only consider cessation of operations to avoid continual losses.”

“We cannot pass on the 35 per cent tax to consumers by changing our odds or increasing our income,” they argued and added: “If we are forced to cease operations, we will lose trained employees and pay terminal dues, making it very difficult to revive the industry at a later date.”

The sector is fighting to survive in a hostile environment provided by Kenyan authorities and casino executives are trying to overturn their position: “Most of them (casinos) are saying we would rather just close,” Association of Gaming Operators Kenya chairman Ronald Karauri stated.

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