Local media quoted Paul Matuku, the KRA’s top legal eagle, saying the KRA was “aggrieved by the Tribunal’s finding that it had no legal backing in demanding Withholding Tax from the betting firms and the manner in which it had enforced collection of the tax.”
Waweru claimed that the Tribunal’s ruling “departed from the decision by Justice Hatari Waweru’s in a Meru High Court case in which the learned judge had found that there was no ambiguity in the interpretation of the term ‘winnings’ as defined by the Income Tax Act.”
The dispute over the definition of winnings led the KRA to demand hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged tax arrears from operators licensed by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB). When these demands weren’t met, the BCLB suspended the licenses of 27 betting operators while the KRA cut off their payment processing channels.
As a result, several operators, including market-leaders SportPesa and Betin, were forced to shut their Kenyan operations and lay off hundreds of staff. The BCLB suggested that suspended licensees would need to “apply afresh” for new licenses, assuming they were found to be in tax compliance.
上周，SportPesa首席执行官罗纳德·卡拉里（Ronald Karauri）发表声明说，该公司将“现在重新考虑其在肯尼亚运营的未来”，并呼吁KRA遵守法庭的裁决，并“采取合理的方法进行赌博监管和征税， KRA的上诉通知书表明，在可预见的未来，“合理”仍将是一个遥不可及的目标。