Global Clampdown on Gambling Continues

Tighter controls on betting seem to be taking place all over the globe. Some of the actions being taken are being made to protect the underaged and those believed to be vulnerable. Others such as being seen in Kenya have the aim of increasing the tax revenue received from the gambling industry.

The 2022 Finance Bill has just been published in Kenya. It didn’t make good reading for those who own gambling businesses. A 20% tax on wagering stakes has been reintroduced by the Kenyan government.

The Treasury had wanted to do that two years ago. However, there was plenty of unrest over the announcement. Most of that came from the Kenya Betting Control Board (BCLB). Their opinion of the tax rise was that it was a “market killer.” Several gambling companies shared that view and stopped operating in the country.

The decision was reversed but last year saw indications it would return. Ukur Yatani is the Kenyan Treasury Cabinet Undersecretary, and he said the 20% tax would be part of the next Finance Bill. That has been the case and it’ll be interesting to see how the Kenyan gambling industry reacts to the new tax level when it comes into operation.

That’s not the only problem though with the digital tax service being increased. From July, It will be 3% of the gross value of online transactions made in a financial year. That is double the current level. It will affect the revenues of many companies, including those that provide software to the gambling industry.

There are problems on the way in Paraguay too. There was a time when amusement arcades were full of children playing slot games. The slots could be found in plenty of venues but that’s going to change in the South American country.

April 20 saw the government publish a new executive decree in the Official Gazette. That said that slot machines would be banned from several public places, including outside casinos. The decree has already become law.

The reason for the decree is to “protect children and adolescents against the influence and risks” from playing slots. It’s ok if the slots are in casinos or authorised gaming venues but not away from such places. ID will also be required for those who wish to gamble, again aimed at stopping underage playing.

President Benitex said that “the prohibition of slot machines in free-trade shops was a necessary measure for the protection of children and to prevent gambling addiction spreading across Paraguayan provinces”.

Public places where children go will have to get rid of their slot machines. This includes markets, fast food restaurants and even hairdressers and pharmacies. Those who break the law will be fined. The monies received will be given to services who deal with gambling addiction.