East African legislators are being called to action in advocating for policies that effectively channel a significant portion of tax revenues from betting companies into sports development. This proposal was discussed at a roundtable event alongside the Inter-Parliamentary Games in Kigali.
Ntoudi Mouyelo, Managing Director of Mchezo, highlighted the need for a more conducive tax regime to encourage sports investment. “This is an opportunity for us to share that, maybe, together we can look at certain laws and regulations to make sport a higher priority,” Mouyelo stated, emphasizing the potential for legislative reform.
Mchezo’s Tax Contributions and Vision
Mchezo, previously known as Chop Gaming and currently operating betPawa, emerged as Uganda’s second-largest taxpayer last year, following Coca-Cola. Mouyelo questioned the extent of government reinvestment in sports from these substantial tax contributions. Mchezo’s commitment to sports is evident in its sponsorships across various leagues in Uganda. In addition, its collaboration with the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) seeks to further sports development.
The roundtable discussion focused on strategies for increasing funding for sports initiatives, from grassroots to elite leagues. Mouyelo proposed the inclusion of sports investment in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tax regime as a potential incentive.
Marcus Kwikiriza, CEO of Fuba, supported the call for tax incentives. He went on to suggest that tax waivers for companies investing in sports could lead to the emergence of more entities like Mchezo, which significantly contribute to sports development.
Legislative Perspectives and Commitments
Asuman Basalirwa, MP for Bugiri Municipality, expressed optimism about Uganda’s new sports law, which provides a framework for sports development. Legislators from various East African countries attending the symposium pledged to advocate for more supportive environments for sports investment in their respective countries.
Organizers of the roundtable conversation committed to meeting again in six months to review progress on the discussed initiatives. Additionally, further steps for enhancing sports development in East Africa by effectively using betting tax revenues are to be discussed.