The Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) has announced a 10% withholding tax on lottery winnings and sports betting payouts. An electronic-commerce piloting system will start with the thirty-three sport betting companies and eight legal casinos commencing in this very month of April-an inequitable decision targeted at the happiness of ”investors”(moniker for punters or people who place bets), a vast majority of the youth.
The thumb of the Ghanaian youth is the ”hottest commodity” in politics. It grants political desires and puts people in high positions. It positions one for per diems and secures future through ex gratia. Yet still, campaign promises remain deceitful and unfulfilled promises. Four-year degree certificates without connections with ”big men” remain ordinary papers as the ”whom you know” phrase precedes competence.
Hence, the youth’s recently discovered messiah, sports betting. Placing a wager without sorting out a three-square meal could either be a nice experience to remember or a horrible one to forget. ”The Kweku Flick Story”( a Kumasi-based artiste whose first song was recorded with bet payout) remains punters’ motivation. ”Quitters never win and winners never quit”
remains their(punters) assertion.
They sometimes cash in, other times lose out, but ”gaming till we win” remains their motto. Taxation is good and helps in nation-building-no two ways about it. But delightfully partaking in one’s happy moments without considering the sorrowful is questionable.
The Government’s interest to tax bet payouts without finding solutions on why able-bodied men’s daily bread is dependent on outcomes of football matches, horse racing, dog racing and aviator(examples of sports betting games) is
In summary, hiding behind taxation to take a percentage of punters’ bet payouts without knowing what pushed them into it (betting), whether they are enjoying or enduring it and the emotional stress they go through upon losing out is tantamount to illegally taking from a man without enough.
Story by: Nyarko-Boateng Emmanuel (King Kooemma)