Mbarara Municipal Council has introduced a tax of 5 million shillings on all sports betting houses in the municipality in an attempt to boost local revenue. The proposal to levy the tax on sports betting houses was tabled by Issa Ssemanda, the chairperson of the finance, planning and administration committee.
It was seconded by Kate Nakalema and Abdul Kyabande, both councilors at the Municipality. Nakalema says the heavy license fees will scare away several mushrooming sports betting houses, which have become life threatening among youths.
She explains that more than ten university students have fallen victims to sport betting after losing their money to gambling. Nakalema observes that several students have resorted to committing suicide after betting tuition.
Muzamir Ssekajja, the speaker Mbarara municipality says the new tax will boost their local revenue collection. Council expects to collect over 2billion shillings in local revenue. Ssekajja says there are more than 50 sports betting clubs in Mbarara municipality alone.
However, some of the proprietors of sports betting shops are unhappy about the new tax. Andrew Karamagi, the proprietor of International sports betting club in Mbarara town says the new tax is a deliberate ploy by the municipality to frustrate their business.