Reports so far suggest that, players of lottery products and sports betting games across the country, are seriously unhappy with Akufo-Addo’s government particularly the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for attempting to impose 20 percent Income tax on them in the name “Gross Gaming Revenue”.
The tax is specifically on the lottery, betting and gaming companies.
It also comes with an additional 10 percent Withholding Tax on winnings from lottery, betting and games of chance at the point of payout.
Most players and Lotto Marketing Companies are of the view that the Akufo-Addo government is being insensitive and accusation whenever the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is in power, it always makes attempts to destroy the lottery business with laws and unwarranted taxes.
Most players and LMCS are of the opinion that the new 20 percent and 10 percent respective taxes on gross revenue of lottery companies and the staking public, will seriously undermine the sales, revenue, profits and growth of lottery industry.
The 10 percent Withholding Tax on Winnings, will prevent thousands of players from staking the lottery products both in the kiosks and online.
Already, a lot of Lotto Marketing Companies are dying out because of huge debts as a result of higher wins by the staking public coupled with huge amounts of money paid to the National Lottery Authority (NLA) as a license fee.
The inability of the National Lottery Authority to pay winning tickets to the staking public promptly, as well as the 20 percent commissions to the Lotto Marketing Companies, have already negatively affected the lottery business leading to decline in sales and revenue.
The Ministry of Finance, should therefore have a second look at the 20percent and 10percent taxes on the gross sales of Lotto Marketing and Betting Companies, and winnings respectively.
First and foremost, the Ministry of Finance, should with immediate effect suspend the implementation of the Nuisance Taxes on the lottery companies and the staking public.
The Minister of Finance should rather have broader consultations with the NLA, Private Sector Lotto Operators, Lotto Marketing Companies, Sports Betting Companies and all other relevant stakeholders to reach consensus on the best way forward to address the concerns of the lottery industry.
The country is becoming too difficult for private businesses and investors to survive due to the nuisance taxes introduced by the Akufo-Addo’s Government.
Unemployment and collapsing of businesses are on the rise and this phenomenon is not good for the image of the NPP as majority of players of lottery products and sports betting games are threatening to vote out the NPP in the 2024 general elections if Ken Ofori-Atta and the GRA, go ahead with the collection of the 20percent tax on the gross sales/Revenue of Lotto Marketing Companies and the 10percent Withholding Tax on Winnings.