Gov’t fears internet usage to reduce heavy taxation on betting

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By KNA/Grace Maina

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Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) CS Joe Mucheru has allayed fears that internet consumption would decline following the government’s move requiring gambling firms channel half of their turnover to national coffers.

One of the significant changes that gambling and betting has brought about given its widespread in the country was increased internet usage through internet-enabled devices such as computers, mobile and smart phones as well as tablets.

Their expansion has however started to have negative social effects particularly on the youth forcing the government to step in to put control measures on the largely unregulated industry.

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CS Mucheru said internet and its consumption would continue to grow, as the taxes raised from betting will go to expand arts, sports and culture whose growth largely depended on technology.

“The fact that taxes have been increased on betting does not mean we will consume less internet,” said the CS, adding that internet was not just for betting and gambling, but for others things such as education, entertainment and business.

Speaking yesterday at Njiru-ini secondary school in Mukurwe-ini, Nyeri, when he foresaw the opening of a computer laboratory and internet installation courtesy of Communications Authority of Kenyan (CA), Mucheru said the government was committed to ensuring the country goes digital.

He urged the youth to instead use internet for research, education and business as the government moves to increase connectivity across the country with more focus to learning institutions.

Mucheru asked the youth to take advantage of increased jobs provided through the internet to make a living for instance freelancing, transcribing and translating.

He said Kenya was leading in freelancing and it was government’s duty to increase connectivity and skills through such platforms such as Ajira Digital Program.

The CS was accompanied by Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe who called on the government to expand fiber network in the county especially in the education and health sector in a bid to make it smart.

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