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Gambling tax court case in Kenya dismissed due to font size

Kenyan gambling tax case dismissed

The court case going after the Kenyan government for the incredulous tax hike has been dismissed due to font size.

Yesterday we revealed Bradley Limited Trading, owner of the Pambazuka National Lottery, filed a legal challenge against the Kenyan government over the proposed 50 percent uniform tax hike.

Kenyan media has since reported Justice Roselyne Aburili declined to address the case which challenges the tax increase as presented by Kenya’s Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich in the 2017-18 national budget.

While it was listed under a certificate of urgency, Aburili said she had declined to consider the case “for reasons that the fonts used for typing of documents is too small to be read.”

“I direct the applicant to file reader friendly pleadings for consideration of the court,” she added.

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Many are slamming Aburili’s dismissal, with one commentator saying it “is a blatantly implausible reason and it should not be accepted. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Others have suggested the judge is buying time so the government can be consulted before a decision is made.

Bradley claimed Rotich surpassed his constitutional authority which should have been left up to the Betting Control and Licensing Board.

While Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta tried to calm gambling operators down, he said it was necessary for a tax increase in order to protect the vulnerable, including children. He added it wasn’t the intention of the government to destroy the gambling industry in Kenya and the government may be open to a review of the new tax proposal.

The new tax hike will see an increase to 50 percent of all gambling revenues but many are estimating it will be closer to 70 percent. This is an increase from 7.5 percent for betting operators, 5 percent for lotteries, 12 percent for gambling operators and 15 percent for competitions.

This is an incredulous tax increase and as we’ve reported before Kenyan sportsbook companies and other gambling operators will look to relocate overseas, impacting the thriving gambling sector which accounts for the income of many Kenyans.

Bradley is owned by the same company as the betting operator SportPesa and while it was established just three years ago it has since exploded in Kenya. The online betting company sponsors Kenya’s Premier League and the soccer clubs Gor Mahia FC and AFC Leopards.

There’s also a number of international betting companies which have set up shop in the country. They will no doubt drop their licenses if the new tax remains, but it is likely Kenyans will still be accepted.

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