Denis Kasule Ssebunya
Betting companies are urging the government to waive taxes on winnings from lottery games, arguing that their substantial contributions to Uganda’s tax revenue should exempt prize money from taxation. Allan Tumushabe, managing director of Chop Gaming Limited and country partner for Bet Pawa, emphasized the companies’ compliance with tax obligations, suggesting that this should allow winners to receive their prizes in full without deductions.
Tumushabe highlighted the company’s role as a major taxpayer, stating, ‘Last year, BetPawa ranked as the second-largest and most compliant taxpayer, trailing only Coca-Cola.’
He emphasized ongoing engagement with stakeholders to advocate for revisions to regulations, particularly concerning taxation on winnings. The aim is to shield winners from taxation and manage gaming taxes separately.
Additionally, the company offers financial advisory services to assist winners in making informed decisions about their windfalls.
However, amidst celebrations of Eddy Kikonyogo’s 397 million shillings win, cautionary voices arise. Kikonyogo, the fortunate winner, shared his decade-long betting journey, marked by more agony than joy.
He disclosed personal hardships, including foregoing meals to fund bets and even contemplating suicide after significant losses. Kikonyogo’s advice, based on his own painful experience, is clear: discourage the young and the financially vulnerable from engaging in betting activities.
Reflecting on his tumultuous past, Kikonyogo emphasized the grim realities of his betting history, including losing his mother’s money intended for driving lessons. Despite his recent windfall, Kikonyogo remains cognizant of the risks, stressing the importance of responsible gambling.
His cautionary tale serves as a poignant reminder of the potential pitfalls of gambling addiction.
Kikonyogo’s remarkable win, achieved with a modest 2,000 shilling stake, propels him into the ranks of Africa’s top lottery winners. His aspirations include securing a home, purchasing a car, and reinvesting in betting.
Yet, amidst his dreams of prosperity, Kikonyogo issues a solemn warning: “People without financial stability should avoid betting to evade the perils of despair.”
As Kikonyogo prepares to embark on a new chapter of his life, his story serves as both an inspiration and a cautionary tale, underscoring the complexities and risks associated with lottery gaming.