The country’s largest betting firm, SportPesa, will be shutting down its operations in Kenya.
This follows the firm’s announcement citing hostile tax conditions on the betting industry.
The announcement just comes hours after the second-largest firm, Betin, announced that it was declaring its staff redundant.
The Kenyan government had imposed a 20 per cent witholding tax on all betting stakes, a Sportpesa has termed barbaric on both their customers and themselves.
“Sportpesa is disappointed with the decision by the Kenyan legislature to impose a 20% excise tax on all betting stakes. The tax is based on a fundamental misunderstanding by the Rotich led treasury of how revenue generation works in the bookmaker industry,” read a section of the statement.
“Until such time that adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment is returned, the SportPesa brand will halt operations in Kenya.”
Elsewhere close to 400 employees risk losing their jobs after second largest gamer Betin, told staff on Friday that the firm had been left with no option but to let them go.
“This has been occasioned by the fact that we have not been operational since July 2019 a fact we are all aware of. Management has had several extensive meeting with relevant government entities regarding the company’s license renewal without much success,” explained the memo on September 27th.
The exit of the duo will definitely leave a void in sponsorship deals on local sports teams and injure job opportunities for thousands of agents around the country.