Yesterday the Uganda Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board of Uganda (LGRB) held an engagement at the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Head Quarters in Kampala a meeting that was headlined by the CEO of Gaming Board Uganda Mr. Denis Mudene, Commissioner General URA Mr. John Musinguzi Rujoki along their senior managers in their respective capacities and of course, our team was also invited.
The engagement kicked off at 8:30 and saw the majority of the Gaming Operators attend, see highlights that were in this engagement;
From the Operators
A major raised issue was that the URA and the Gaming Board should collaborate with lawmakers and amend the Withholding Tax (WHT) from being accrued on all customer winnings as it includes stake but rather be implicated onto the only won amount exclusive of the stake.
In addition, other Operators suggested that the WHT should be scrapped and a small percentage should be added onto the Betting Tax as it was implemented on the Gaming Tax while others believe scrapping it is the best but again without any added percentage on the betting Tax. See below the current status of Taxes for the gaming industry in Uganda FYI
|Withholding Tax- Betting
|Withholding Tax – Gaming
|Withholding Tax – Local supplies
|Withholding Tax- International Payments
|VAT – on imported services
The Operators also requested that the Gaming Board collaborate with the Bank of Uganda along with the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) of Uganda on the Anti Money Laundering (AML) Act which they claim has caused their banishment from most tier 1 and tier 2 Banks which they believe is rather over-exaggerated in some cases causing disruptions in operations where Bank accounts are frozen, then unfrozen or banished.
From the Gaming and Lotteries Regulatory Board (LGRB)
The CEO emphasized the iGaming Operators coming forward with the right API integration documents to allow for integrations into the central monitoring system which will ease tax collections as taxes will be collected in real-time and warned that all that won’t be integrated by the end of this year won’t get their licences renewed for next year.
Mr. Denis Mudene (CEO of LGRB) also informed the operators that some amendments that included most of the raised issues by the operators were underway and promised to invite them and give their contributions before they are tabled into parliament.
“The most interesting one was that these amendments include a request for the license’s timeline to be increased from 1 year to 5 years so that operators only file for their taxes and compliance requirements per year.”
He also requested the operators to join hands with the board on responsible gaming initiatives which he says are key to shifting the society’s and lawmakers’ negative perspective towards the industry which will be good for most of the requested changes to have a good listening ear from the lawmakers.
Finally, the compliance Manager of LGRB also explained the issue of the banishment of gambling companies’ Bank accounts from some Banks in line with the AML Act and Uganda’s position on the world level still being on the grey list being one of the key factors that cause all these frustrations but promised to have an engagement with the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) to see how some Tier 1 and 2 Banks could accept offering their banking services to the industry.
From the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)
The Commissioner General (CG) opened his remarks by thanking the operators for their great contributions through taxes which contribute a good portion towards the development of the country.
He asked all iGaming Operators to ensure that they are all integrated with the central monitoring system (CMS) which will ease tax collections allowing Operators a lot of time from auditing’s letting them focus on their other Operations developments.
The CG also emphasized the operators to use the waiver on penalties for under-declaration of taxes/Tax evasion through “voluntary filing of taxes” a new waiver that automatically protects the operators from any penalties that may be accrued on taxes defaulted for under-declaration or Tax evasion if investigations are carried out and they are discovered.
Ag. Manager Special Operations Gaming department for URA, Mr. Grace also presented a demo that included key infographics of taxes that were collected after investigations last year plus penalties those respective companies got, the current status of gaming tax rates, e-licensing, and explanations on the categories of revenues the Operators must always declare following their discovery that most operators weren’t declaring all revenues from all their products.
Note: As always reach out to us if you would like to establish Operations in Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Cameroun, DRC, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, or Tanzania, we do company incorporation, Gaming Licence applications, and acquisition, Tax filing, and Audits, Responsible Gaming, Marketing and Advertisement, Operations setup and management, Feasibility market studies, Business development and more.