Betting firms owe KRA KSh26 billion – CS Matiangi

Betting firms owe the Kenya Revenue Authority kSh26 billion in unpaid taxes, according to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Betting firms owe the Kenya Revenue Authority kSh26 billion in unpaid taxes, according to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi.

He said on Monday that the collection of the taxes has been frustrated through the courts by players in the sector.

“Poignantly, attempts to recover this amount have not been fruitful because the key industry operators have found refuge in judicial processes where all manner of court orders are sought and issued…” Matiangi said.

The CS who spoke during a Betting Control and Licensing Board stakeholders’ forum at the Kenya School of Government directed the PS for state Department for Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa to review the working permit of all foreigners who applied to do business in the country.

The CS said he needed the report by end of business Monday after which his ministry would issue deportation orders for foreigners who applied for work permits to do something else but ended up in betting business.

Matiangi said the government would not allow other people to come do unlawful business in the country adding that those who are running the gambling business without licences risk deportation.

However, he appealed to the gambling firms which have met the regulations to cooperate with tax man. He noted it was worrying that 90 per cent of the betting industry owners are foreigners who are reaping huge turnover to the detriment of Kenya.