May 28th 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

KPL petitions Government over proposed betting firms tax hike

Top betting firm SportPesa have sponsored the Kenyan Premier League believed to be in the tune of Sh450 million in a 4.5-year deal. They also penned a Sh607 million deal with Kenya Rugby Union, which among other things sponsors the national sevens team.

By David JagongoThursday, 20 Apr 2017 18:28 EAT

A Gor Mahia player (left) tackles a Bandari FC opponent at a past Kenyan Premier League match at the Nairobi City Stadium. KPL is opposed to proposed tax hike on sports betting firms.

The Kenyan Premier League has petitioned the Government to re-evaluate its recent budgetary proposal to introduce a uniform 50 percent tax across board on betting, lottery, gaming and competition firms. KPL is one of the many sporting institutions in the country which has benefited greatly from sponsorship by betting firms, CEO Jack Oguda said in a press statement.

''If this industry struggles to meet their business targets, they will be forced to withdraw funding to sporting institutions,'' said the head of the firm that manages the league on behalf of Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

Apart from Kenyan Premier League, four other football clubs, namely AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia, Mathare United and Sofapaka, are sponsored by betting firms. Through the funding of the league and the clubs have been able to meet the cost of operations of the various aspects that the sports sector demands.

''Clubs are able to meet Match day expenses (hiring of government owned sports facilities, ambulances, police officers, ball boys, ticket firms, as well as PR & Marketing firms, Match Day travel and accommodation.

Clubs also pay salaries and allowances of players, technical bench members, referees, match commissioners, stewards and other staff working directly or indirectly during the Match Day events. KPL's appeals comes a few days after Football  Kenya Federation the government over the same, warning that if effected it will hurt the sports sector.

Kenyan Premier League CEO Jack Oguda

Top betting firm SportPesa have sponsored the Kenyan Premier League  believed to be in the tune of Sh450 million in a 4.5-year deal. They also penned a Sh607 million deal with Kenya Rugby Union, which among other things sponsors the national sevens team. SportPesa are also sponsors of the national boxing league.

Other betting firms Betika and Betway have partnered with Sofapaka and Mathare United football clubs respectively, while Goma Lotto, a lottery firm sealed a marketing partnership deal with top club Gor Mahia.

''From this alone it is clear that there are other industries which benefit from a vibrant sports industry which is currently anchored on the success and exponential growth of betting firms,'' said Oguda. Collapse of betting will therefore not only lead to a collapse of the sports sector but also other industries which rely on sports for their revenue, Oguda warned.

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