Former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Suhum Municipality and stalwart of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Margaret Ansei ( alias Magoo) has suggested that rather than slap a 10% tax on all bet winnings on all those who bet, the Government must come up with a way to tax only the rich so as not to disadvantage the poor even further.
Ms Ansei wants the Government of President Akufo-Addo to look further into the taxing of betting and devise ways of protecting the vulnerable poor bettor by having a threshold of winnings that should is taxed rather than any amount of winning. She argued that a person who stakes a bet of GHC1000 cannot be said to be poor and must therefore be taxed.
“I didn’t even know people could bet with 1000 Ghana Cedis. So what it means is that people can go even higher. But someone who can bet with 1000 Ghana Cedis is not poor. So at least let there be a threshold. I have given you an example of what we[ the NDC ] did with the lottery without betting. So if you’re doing this, consider the people involved; they are your citizens,” he said on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana Monday, August 21, 2023.
She called on the Government to endeavour to have a better understanding of the gaming ( betting) industry and make policies that will better streamline it and manage the issues that arise from it.
“What are the situations? What are the studies around all this betting that the youth are so into it? Because I hear it’s all over Twitter and whatever. What are the studies around it? Has the government conducted any studies on it? What are the national security issues around it? Why are the youth so much involved in it? They [the Government] should come up with something. Are these the problems or is it that the people are just enjoying it? I mean they should come up with something then we would know holistically how to manage this or how to get our people busy with work and probably people will not venture into this kind of thing,” she added.
The Government has slipped a 10% tax on all bet winnings. The tax has been met with criticism from a cross-section of the public. But the government has defended the tax as akin to income tax that not only is a way of raising much-needed revenue for development but discouraging the practice, especially among the youth.