Betting firms pay GH₵450m as tax in 4yrs


Betting companies have since 2019 paid an estimated GH450million to government in various forms including taxes and licencing fees, according to data available at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Secretary of the Ghana Association of Sports Betting Operators (GHASBO), Dr. Kweku Ainuson – who disclosed this at a compliance workshop organised for members of the Association in Accra, said the US$100billion global sports betting industry has significantly contributed to growth of the world economy, including Ghana.

GHASBO also appealed to government through the GRA to reconsider the effective date of July 1, 2023 for implementation of the amended Act, which slaps a tax on all bet winnings.

Mr. Ainuson, who is also Director of Betway Ghana, disclosed that GHASBO has written to the GRA to this effect.

Meanwhile, GHASBO is also pursuing a self-compliance regulation mechanism for its members as part of measures to bring all members in line with the law.

It also expressed its readiness to finance any corporate social responsibility initiated by the Gaming Commission.

Parliament on March 31, 2023 passed the Income Tax (Amendment) (No.2) bill, 2022 into law. Among other things, it re-introduced a 10 percent tax on winnings from lottery after it was scrapped in 2017.

The new tax, which affects betting and lottery winnings, will apply to domestic punters. In addition, betting companies operating in the country will face a 20 percent tax on their revenue.

Following the law’s passage, Ghanaians expressed diverse views. While some hailed the decision as a means of generating cash for the state, others criticised it as yet an additional burden on an already over-taxed population.

A representative of the GRA, Thomas Agorsor, said since passage of the act and its ascent into law, the Authority has not collected any taxes in winnings from operators. He however said that from July 1, 2023, operators which have failed to calibrate their system must cease operations.

He indicated that enough of a grace period – of almost two months – has been given for operators to re-calibrate and meet the deadline.

Currently, a total of twenty-one betting companies are operating in the country.

Board Chairman of the Gaming Commission, Gary Nimako Marfo, stated that the outfit has instituted sufficient monitoring systems to ensure all genuine winners receive their winnings from operators.

He urged aggrieved gamblers to address grievances to the Commission for immediate redress.

Head of Compliance at the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Seth Nana Amoako, said the FIC is committed to ensuring that all betting companies are compliant with anti-money laundering laws and other international standards.

According to him, all betting companies are mandated to keep records of their customers and update the same at all times; and are expected to conduct risk assessments to ascertain delivery channels, geographical locations and customer base.

The Data Protection Act 2000, Act 843, mandates that all betting companies are registered by the Data Protection Commission and provides for the protection of data collected by online betting companies.

The sanctions regime of non-compliant companies is between 160 to 10,000 penalty units, in addition to 10 years imprisonment for data breaches.

The one-day GHASBO regulatory compliance workshop powered by Betway was organised in collaboration with the Gaming Commission and Ghana Revenue Authority.

Representatives of other stakeholders including the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Data Protection Commission, Financial Intelligence Centre, and Telecommunications Service Providers were in attendance.

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