Connect with us


Gamble gone bad for Pambazuka lottery?

Some analysts point to low take-up of tickets as the main reason, with most Kenyans prefering sports betting



The lottery closed after the national draw on the night of Sunday 7th January 2018 at 7.30pm.

In gambling, being a game of chance, it’s mostly the players who find themselves holding the short end of the stick. Yet in one of those rare stories of this game of chance eating its own mother, a national lottery has had to bite the dust and close shop.

The Pambazuka National Lottery (PNL) on 7th January 2018 suspended operations in Kenya, citing a punitive taxation regime that came into effect this year, but some analysts point to low take-up of tickets as the main reason, as most Kenyans prefer sports betting which has been earning millions for winners, including old women in villages.

According to Pambazuka lottery management, prior to January 2018, operations had been based on a 55% pay-out and the imposition of a 25% tax devoted to charity as per regulations. The effect of the 35% tax on all tickets sales from 1st January, they said in the closure announcement, is that the total cost of operation rises to 115%.

“This is before the deduction of all operational costs,” the statement said. “Operating any lottery under this framework is not possible and therefore business operations are forced to close.”

> An expert explains how to make sure bets
> Top betting companies in Kenya you must know

The lottery closed after the national draw on the night of Sunday 7th January 2018 at 7.30pm, “until a sustainable regulatory framework is in place for the lottery industry.”

The lottery, owned by Bradley Ltd, was launched in July 2016 at a colourful ceremony beamed live on NTV. Speaking at the launch, Mr Hussein Mohamed, CEO Bradley Ltd, described the PNL as a “never-been-seen before brand in the market.” After facing the hard reality on the ground – a conspiracy of tax and stiff competition for people’s wallets from the likes of SportPesa and Betway –Mr Mohamed would find these words a little bitter to swallow.

Pambazuka-National-Lottery-winner Gamble gone bad for Pambazuka lottery?

One of the lucky winners in the Pambazuka National Lottery gets his prize.

Its model of “providing revenue-generating entertainment through the sales of an innovative product that will generate both social and economic benefits to Kenya”, sounded funky and was well hyped. The launch, for instance, was a masterpiece with a lineup of artistes both local and international, including Tanzania’s King Kiba, Uganda’s Radio and Weasel, STL, Redsan among other local acts.

ALSO READ: The 31-year-old Kenyan who makes Sh20 million in  bad month

The management said Pambazuka National Lottery said all prize claims after the 7th January 2018 draw will be paid out to winners directly or from the company offices until 7th April 2018.

Others are bullish

Even as Mohamed and his team lick their wounds, sport betting companies are donning a brave face, arguing that higher taxation would not ruin their game. Betway Country manager Wanja Gikonyo said gambling firms and the government would hold talks and reach an amicable solution. The companies have protested against higher taxation of 35 per cent of their profits.

SportPesa withdrew its sponsorship of local sports teams in protest and others have threatened to pull out. SportPesa CEO Ronaldo Karauri, on January 2, said getting out of sponsorships would save the company about Ksh600 million.

“The tax issue is a concern for Betway and the industry at large,” Ms Gikonyo said. “We are in talks … we will see how things will turn out.”

SEE: Four popular drinking joints face closure

Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: [email protected]

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Updates

Health2 days ago

Floods could contaminate water sources: Davis & Shirtliff

Leading water and energy solutions provider, Davis & Shirtliff is advising Kenyans with wells, boreholes or reservoirs of possible water...

Media Review2 days ago

Jeff Koinange isn’t as smart as he’d like you to believe

Veteran journalist under fire following for allegedly betraying his shallow understanding of issues he discusses on the JKL show

Health2 days ago

Kenya to host continental congress on cleft lip and palate

The theme of the congress will be 'Shaping the future of cleft care in Africa by setting standards and protocols...

NEWS2 days ago

Flight attendant dies after tumbling from Emirates plane

The exact cause of the incident was not yet clear, but some witnesses cited possible suicide

NEWS3 days ago

Mombasa Road closed as River Athi bursts into homes

Thousands set to be affected after River Athi broke its banks and flooded the highway at the Green Park area...

Opinion3 days ago

Empowering Generation Z through technology

Africa needs to consider that it may be the role of the children to teach ICT skills to their elders,...

NEWS3 days ago

NTSA guide for drivers and pedestrians in heavy rains

Director General Francis Meja says the heavy rains experienced in most part of the country creates potentially dangerous conditions for road...

Education3 days ago

10,896 primary school girls to get sanitary towels

The needy girls will also get a year's supply of underwear as well as puberty education and life skills through...

NEWS3 days ago

Moving floods photos that show Nairobi is a ticking timebomb

The flooding once again put the country's capital in the spotlight as authorities continue to sit on plans to resuscitate...

Person of Interest3 days ago

Chris Kirubi’s first public appearance after treatment

The silence from his family and business associates since November has raised concerns about his health