Lotto Marketers Reject ‘Nuisance Taxes’
Members of Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs) who trade in lottery and gaming products have kicked against the imposition of what they termed, “nuisance taxes” on lottery and betting games.
The lotto marketers, who are unhappy with the government and the Finance Ministry’s decision to impose 20% income tax on “Gross Gaming Revenue” of lottery, betting and gaming companies, as well as 10% withholding tax on winnings from lottery, betting and games of chance at the point of payout, said the move is unfair and would take them out of business.
The group, which is asking government to suspend the implementation of the policy with immediate effect, said the new 20% and 10% respective taxes on gross revenue of lottery companies and the staking public will undermine the sales, revenue, profits and growth of lottery industry.
According to them, the 10% withholding tax on winnings will prevent thousands of players from staking the lottery products both in the kiosks and online.
They indicated that 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.
In their view, the inability of the National Lottery Authority to pay winning tickets to the staking public promptly, as well as the 20% commissions to the Lotto Marketing Companies, has already negatively affected the lottery business, leading to decline in sales and revenue.
As a result of this, among others, they are calling on the Ministry of Finance to have a second look at the 20% and 10% taxes on the gross sales of the lotto marketing and betting companies and winnings respectively.
According to them, Ghana is becoming too difficult for private businesses and investors to survive due to the nuisance taxes being introduced in all sectors of the economy.
“The Minister of Finance should rather have broader consultations with the National Lottery Authority, Private Sector Lotto Operators, Lotto Marketing Companies, Sports Betting Companies and all other relevant stakeholders to reach a consensus on the best way forward to address the concerns of the lottery industry,” the group stated.