Ushering New Era in the Regulation of Gaming Industry in Tanzania
Sports Betting Leapfrogs Casino in Paying Taxes
22 November, 2017 By Sauli Giliard, Daily News
Credit : Daily News

Gaming Board’s response to questions filed by this newspaper regarding how players have been paying tax in the past financial year, show that until 2015/16 FY, Casino gambling was a leading category until 2016/17, when sports betting took over.

Sports betting, according to Australia Sport Betting website, are a form of gambling that entails placing a wager, also known as a bet, on the outcome of a sporting event.

“The primary intent of sports betting is to win additional money. With the exception of spread betting, ‘draw no bet’ wagers and a few other examples, a bet will have two possible outcomes,” the site adds.

The board’s data shows that in the last FY, sports betting recorded 17.9bn/- in tax compared to casino’s 9.8bn/- in the same period, followed by SMS lottery 7.4bn/-, Slots Operations 1.5bn/- and 40 Machine Site 278.8m/-.

The data show that sports betting has abruptly surpassed casino since in 2015/16 FY the latter recorded 12.1bn/- in tax while it contributed 10.8bn/-.

Moreover, two months of July and August, this year, data show that sports betting trailed other categories after recording 1.12bn/- and 1.84bn/- in tax respectively.

In July, government collected a total of 2.9bn/- and 4.5bn/- in August this year as tax, from all gaming activities. The information filed by the board’s Sadiki Elimsu on behalf of Gaming Board General Director, shows that until October, this year, a total of 18 companies have been registered as sports betting firms.

Without mentioning their respective amounts paid in tax, the three overall biggest taxpayer companies are Mobibet (T) Ltd (BIKO), Gateway Gaming Ltd (M-Bet) and Entertainment Africa (Premier Betting).

While the government has been gaining in tax from gaming activities in the country, the industry has directly employed more than 3,000 people, according to the board’s 2016/17 data from 2,928 in 2014/15.

The board’s responses to the ‘Daily News’ state that the regulator has “been educating people through brochures on responsible gambling, to avoid negative consequences on their brains (addiction) and players’ income.”

Furthermore, the board said that it has the role of educating people who want to participate in any gaming activities to consider the game’s terms and conditions, “to know their basic rights and how to participate.”

As the gaming activities are spreading in the country, the ‘Daily News’ wanted to know how it is making sure that children under the age of 18 are not participating, according to Sections 47 and 70 of the Gaming Act 2003.

The Gaming Board said, “All places where gaming activities are conducted have been directed to put adverts barring children.” It added that “Section 70 of the Gaming Act, 2003 states that any person who will be found guilty of allowing children to participate, will be subjected to pay 500,000/- in fine or sentenced to three years imprisonment or both.”

Through the Finance Act, No 4 of 2017, the Parliament amended the Gaming Act, Cap 166 of the Laws of Tanzania and gave the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) the mandate to collect Gaming Tax with effect from 1st of July, 2017. Due to the said changes, TRA is now responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for Gaming Tax Revenues.

After the amendments, all stakeholders and taxpayers who were paying their various gaming tax dues to the Gaming Board of Tanzania are supposed to submit their tax returns and pay their respective taxes to TRA.

“It should be understood that payment of gaming tax is a full and final satisfaction of the income tax obligation of the operator for the period involved,” the TRA states

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