Lack of sponsorships in Kenyan sports environment in the recent past has proved spot of bother to a host of sporting clubs, moreso football.
The particular sports discipline was dealt a fatal blow after the government introduced 20 per cent excise duty on bets stakes, a proposal that was not gladly welcomed by the gaming firms in 2019.
This proposal came as a stumbling block to almost all betting companies as many failed to comply with the new regulations put in place by the tax men.
Efforts to salvage the situation hit a snag as negotiations between the two parties proved futile.
The gaming firms eventually saw their operational licenses revoked as attempts to get back to business in the long failed to bear fruits.
The push and pull between these companies and the government saw sponsorship elude the country’s sports scene as key clubs’ sponsors bolted out citing harsh taxation and unconductive operational environment, leaving the entire sports fraternity grappling with grave financial constraints.
However, there are signs of white smoke after President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday dropped the same proposal contained in an amendment to the Finance Bill 2020, opening fresh avenues for packed out gaming firms to reapply for their invalidated operational licenses.
The good news comes as a sigh of relief to the financially-stricken clubs in terms of sponsorships, especially in the Kenyan Premier League as well as the general punters who had found betting an alternative source of income generation.
The return of these companies will arguably encourage job creation for the second time after hundreds of Kenyans were sent home when betting shops closed in Kenya late last year.
Interior Cabinet SecretaryFred Matiang’i has, however, confirmed that most of the gaming companies have not been cleared by KRA to resume business.
The CS further reiterated that some of the affected companies may never operate in the country as the government tightens the noose of betting menace.
“Before you start talking about the tax on winnings, have any of these companies complied with the registration criteria? The government is on course towards ending the gambling menace in this country. Some of those firms you are saying will never operate in Kenya because they have not met the set standards,” the adamant Matiang’i is quoted by Nation Sport.
Sponsorships in sports is pivotal in terms of athletes and technical benches remunerations.
This aspect has greatly been lacking in Kenya since the gaming companies that filled the sponsorship void went at loggerheads with the government in matters taxation.