Can the imposition of an electronic transaction tax hinder the growth of online betting in Ghana?

In recent years, the online betting sector in Ghana has grown at a breakneck pace, with the country swiftly emerging as one of the most active sports betting hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the fact that Ghana’s gambling business is currently lagging behind regional giants such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, this West African nation’s gaming sector is undoubtedly the finest in the area.

There are currently a plethora of online betting sites available in Ghana, and it is estimated that more than half of the country’s adult population is actively engaged in one kind of gambling or another at any one time. Regrettably, the authorities in Ghana have not been able to keep up with the rapid increase in the number of people who are betting in the nation.

The Gaming Commission of Ghana is the regulatory agency in charge of keeping an eye on the country’s gaming sector. Despite the fact that the Commission has done a respectable job over the years, it is finding it more difficult to maintain control over the business. Cases of underage gambling are still being reported, and unauthorized betting companies are still purportedly providing their services to Ghanaian gamers, according to the authorities.

Some observers believe that the introduction of a new Electronic Tax Levy in the 2022 budget by the Ghanaian government would help to slow the rise in the number of people who engage in online sports betting in the nation.

Is this school of thinking, on the other hand, correct?

A 1.75 percent tax on mobile money and other electronic transactions was suggested by Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, when he presented the country’s fiscal plan for 2022 in November.

Following much debate, the government has decided to impose a tax on all electronic transactions in order to broaden the tax base and bring in more revenue from the informal sector. The Electronic Transaction Levy, sometimes known as the e-Levy, is the name given to this tax by the minister.

Such computerized transactions, which Ofori-Atta refers to as “informal economy transactions,” have been earning billions of cedis in recent years, and he believes they have a significant potential to improve Ghana’s tax collection.

According to projections, the total value of electronic transactions in Ghana would exceed GHS500 billion by 2020, with the number of active mobile money users in Ghana increasing by 16 percent between 2016 and 2019. The President of the Ghana Association of Bankers, Madam Patricia Sappor, recently announced that the value of mobile money transactions for the country has increased significantly.

Can the imposition of an electronic transaction tax hinder the growth of online betting in Ghana?

The overall amount of cash transactions in the first four months of this year was 301.1 billion, while the total amount of check transactions in the same time was 68.3 billion. Madam Sappor made this statement while addressing at the 25th National Banking Conference in Accra on the topic “The Digital Economy of Ghana: The Strategic Role of the Banking Industry” on Thursday, November 18. The conference was held at the Accra International Conference Center.

“Over the first four months of this year, the value of mobile money transactions reached 301.1 billion, while the value of check transactions reached 68.3 billion during the same time.” “If the current trend continues, as I think it will, the overall value of mobile money transactions would exceed the whole value of check transactions by a factor of more than 389 billion dollars for the entire year 2020,” she said.

Given the fact that mobile money is by far the most widely utilized payment method on Ghanaian online betting sites, those involved in the betting industry have been paying careful attention to the latest tax developments. The implementation of the e-charge will result in bettors being required to pay a 1.75 percent levy for each mobile money deposit they make into their betting site.

Unsurprisingly, many mobile money users have expressed dissatisfaction with the announcement. There have also been instances of a massive withdrawal of cash from mobile money accounts after the announcement of the planned charge in the past.

As soon as the e-levy is implemented, it is highly possible that mobile money transactions may slow down for a short period of time, but after that, everything will return to normal.

The mobile money business in Ghana has progressed far enough that it will not take a big damage as a result of the taxation.

This is particularly true in the case of the online betting sector. Betting has become such a fundamental part of Ghanaian culture that it would take much more than the introduction of mobile money to see the business endure a significant collapse!

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