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Ideas & Debate

EDITORIAL: Regulators, betting firms should iron out conflict

betting
It is possible that the government intended to ban betting altogether, which is OK. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

It is always disheartening to see firms closing down and sending hundreds of workers home because they have failed to agree with a regulator or the taxman as has happened in the case of SportPesa, which is leaving Kenya because of an unending tax dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority.

There is no denying that both the government as well as private sector suppliers and partners of such companies will be the worse off whenever this happens, yet, it is possible to resolve such dispute, say through arbitration or agreeing on timelines within which the tax due can be paid.

It is possible that the government intended to ban betting altogether, which is OK. But this should be done as a matter of policy, not by making the companies involved in betting to look like rogues.

However, the fact that some companies have been allowed to operate raises queries over whether they have this licence because they are compliant or have been given special leeway to remain in the market.

The government ought not to be seen as speaking from both sides of its mouth.

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