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Uganda Bans Sports Betting For Diverting Youths’ Attention From Hard Work

gambling
[IMAGE/ COURTESY]

[IMAGE/ COURTESY]
The government of Uganda has banned sports betting, issuing orders that no new sports betting company should be registered.

Also, the existing companies will not have their licences renewed upon expiry.

The government said that it took the step after discovering that the companies were “diverting the attention of youth from hard work”.

“We have received a directive from President Museveni to stop licensing sports betting, gaming and gambling companies. The President has now directed the board which has been regulating them. From now onwards, no new companies are going to be licensed. Those which are already registered, no renewal of licences when they expire,” said Minister of State for Finance in charge of Planning, Mr David Bahati.

In 2017, the government of Uganda imposed a 15 per cent withholding tax on winnings by those who engage in sports betting, splitting, for the first time, betting taxes between players and owners of gaming centres to try and discourage sports betting.

However, it seemed that the strategy did not work, leaving the only option of outlawing sports betting in the country.

In Kenya, the government implemented a rule that would see gamblers pay 20 percent of their winnings in taxes. On the other hand, the companies pay 35 percent of gross earnings to the government in taxes. The move was implemented on the 2018 Finance Act.

Read: Dwindling Fortunes? Why SportPesa Wants To Enlist In The Nairobi Stock Exchange Market

Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said the government increased the taxes to curb exponential growth of gambling that was hurting the young and vulnerable.

Sports betting has been ballooning in third world countries with a lot of unemployed youths who lazy around hoping to make a living out of it.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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