The recent implementation of a 10 per cent withholding tax on betting, games, and lottery winnings by the government has sparked considerable public outcry. In contrast to the prevailing sentiment on social media, Mr. Kennedy Agyapong, a contender for the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) flagbearer nomination, staunchly supports the newly introduced taxation policy.
Effective as of August 15, 2023, the controversial decision has ignited fervent discussions across the nation. This move has garnered notable disapproval from Ghana’s youth, a demographic significantly engaged in sports betting for both entertainment and potential income.
While widespread criticism has been directed at the tax, Mr. Agyapong contends that it is reasonable, drawing a parallel with the United States where substantial taxation is imposed on lottery and similar games of chance.
“[The 10% tax on betting] is in order and it should have been more,” Mr. Agyapong said in an interview on TV3. “If you go to America and win the US lottery, a billion, you’d take home about $600m because it’s free money and it’s taxable, so 10% they have been charitable.”
“I will be honest with the [youth] betting is not anything good for your future that’s why it should be punitive to discourage young men and women coming up to take their destiny into their own hands instead of spending time on games and all those things. Whatever money you’re going to make today is temporal and betting what are you going to get out of that? So, we have to be careful,” he added.
Mr. Agyapong went on to appeal to the youth for an opportunity to lead as the president. He asserted his capability to address the critical issue of unemployment currently affecting the nation.
Believing in his capacity to provide tangible solutions, Agyapong envisions contributing to the empowerment of the younger generation, encouraging them to pursue more substantial and enduring pathways.