The Association of Gaming Operators-Kenya has filed a petition challenging the manner in which winnings from gaming and betting are being taxed.
The first petitioner, the association, is a registered society and the umbrella body for companies involved in the gaming industry in Kenya.
Gambling news reports that the petitioners were opposed to the introduction of a withholding tax of 20%on all winnings from betting and gaming; they were also apprehensive that imposition of the 20% withholding tax would have adverse effects on their business since it would serve to lure away their customers.
The legislation in question is the Finance Act (Act No38 of 2013).
The petitioners further contended that the Finance Act was unconstitutional since it was passed without public participation contrary to articles 10, 118 and 201 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
Petition thrown out
Kenyan gambling laws now include a 20% tax on all players winnings; something that the Kenyan authorities are not willing to give up.
They have commented that, although public participation in the law making process was required, essentially all that was required of the legislature was to provide opportunity for some form of public participation, for instance allowing the public to make either written or oral submission at some point in the legislative process.
Since the public made no objections during the process, the legislation stands.
The authorities put forward many more justifications as to why the tax is constitutional and is not in violation of citizens rights.
The petition has been dismissed and the tax will remain.