- The Murang’a Senator even dared the company to cease its operations in the country.
- Khalwale urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to resist the blackmail tactics.
A section of MPs led by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale have criticised the move by SportPesa to cancel all local sports sponsorship over high taxation.
SportPesa, Kenya’s leading gaming platform has protested the 35 per cent taxation on all its revenues saying it is too high and a threat to survival of its activities in the country.
This was followed by its CEO, Ronald Karauri announcement on Tuesday that all local sports sponsorship has been terminated, a move that would see among others, local football clubs, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards pull out of the continental championships.
Mr Aden Duale, Senators Irungu Kang'ata (Murang’a) and Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), and Kipkelion West MP Hillary Kosgey on Wednesday accused SportPesa of blackmailing the government to evade paying taxes from the billions they collect.
“Kenya is among the countries with the lowest gambling tax rates in the world,” Mr Duale said noting that Germany charges 90 per cent, France and Austria up to 80 per cent and Denmark 75 per cent among others.
Mr Kang'ata wondered how such a company can manage to sponsor a premier league team and then argue it has no money to sponsor local teams even as he accused it of “playing public relations masking schemes.”
“The new tax on gambling is not punitive as some people would want to think. It is within the range of other “sin taxes”- like cigarettes and alcohol taxes. In fact gambling is not an economic activity that adds value to society,” Mr Kang'ata said.