pnlPambazuka National Lottery (PNL) on Sunday suspended its operations in Kenya over the 35 per cent tax imposed by the government.

PNL’s move comes a week after its partner, SportPesa withdrew local sports sponsorships citing unfair tax burden.

pnl”… this means that a further 35 per cent tax would impose an aggregate 90 per cent tax burden on betting industry players,” said SportPesa.

”This is unfair, inequitable and discriminative, thus is illegal for contravening the Constitution. For lotteries, the total deductions come to more than 100 per cent because 50 per cent is paid out as prizes and not counting costs.”

But some feel that the firms have been trying to blackmail the government.

Read: Safaricom Feels Punished and Others Fight for “Real Competition”

SportPesa CEO, Ronald Karauri said that the government did not consult the key industry players when making the decision. He asked that government officials hold talks with the betting firms.

The firm, which rakes in billions of shillings has forced some teams with matches lined up to pull out.

Mr Karauri argued that the withdrawal would ensure that the company stays afloat.

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