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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Stakeholders Weigh in View on Betting Tax Reduction

By Twimepoki Mangani

Lilongwe, Mana: Malawi Gaming Board and National Lottery Board together with Betting companies have weighed in their views on the upcoming 2022/2023 fiscal year budget on proposed withholding tax reduction.

Public Relations Manager for Malawi Gaming Board and National Lottery Board, Mirrium Kumbuyo said they are pleased with the proposed budget and believe people would continue to entertain themselves.

“We are pleased that the government reduced the withholding tax, and they have done a good job in outlining the difference between betting and gambling which caused a lot of misunderstandings,” she said.

Kumbuyo added that, “The fiscal measures do not affect the board in regards to licence fee and it means more income for the players and we hope people will continue to patronize the games for the sake of their entertainment,” she said.

Country Director for World Star Betting, Timothy Kandima said the betting companies asked government to reduce tax because it was difficult to put a good offer for their customers.

He explained that, “The initial structure made it impossible for us to offer a decent product, run at a profit, pay our running costs and a high tax,”

“We would have been forced to decrease our betting odds, which gives less value to our customers and it would have reduced our turnover and made the business unfeasible.”

Kandima said it would have been better if the government would altogether remove the withholding tax. 

 “We would prefer to remove the withholding tax completely and only have the original profit tax in place, because high WHT makes betting less attractive to customers,” he said.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, Williams Banda said the reduction of tax was done after the Ministry took into consideration the demands of the players in the betting industry.

“The decision to reduce the withholding tax rate on winnings was done after a careful analysis of the claims by players and companies in the gaming and betting industry that a higher rate when the industry is still young may discourage its growth,” he noted.

The fiscal measure means that the threshold for taxation bracket is at K 100, 000 for betting and K 500, 000 for gambling and is expected to be officially passed by Parliament on April 1, 2022.

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