Pius Enam Hadzide, CEO of the National Youth Authority (NYA), has claimed that the organization is pleased with the government’s 10% tax on lottery and bet winnings, since it will discourage gambling, particularly among young people.
He stated that the levy was important to prevent youngsters from gambling, since having a nation’s youth obsessed with gambling was detrimental.
“We have been concerned about the increasing incidences of gambling that is affecting even the education of children. Our assessment is that when you go to many of these betting sites, you see young people in uniforms betting. We have developed the culture that the Ghanaian is known as one who is hardworking, one who is committed to decent work and honest work. Those are our values. This idea of young people attempting to get rich quick is a dangerous path to chart for any country in the long term.
“So, we have always advocated that the government should take steps to discourage gambling. We were looking at both legislative and physical measures, such as tax measures, to discourage and disincentivize people from indulging in excessive betting, especially now that our own research has indicated that the vast majority of the youth in our country are drifting into that area. In our view, it is a ticking time bomb. So we applaud the government because we have brought up this matter before past and present officers of state, and we are excited that the government is finally listening to us and implementing measures to disincentivize gambling.”Pius Hadzide
Meanwhile, Mr. Hadzide previously criticized the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the party in opposition, for opposing the 10% gambling tax. The government’s decision to impose a 10% betting tax as part of its efforts to increase income has drawn criticism and alarm.
The NDC youth wing launched a series of actions in a statement signed by the National Youth Organizer, George Opare Addo, to pressure the government to remove the 10% betting tax. The party made the change in reaction to what it sees as an onerous taxation regime that unfairly affects the nation’s youth and the larger gambling industry.
Osman Ayariga Criticizes Gov’t Over Bet Tax
Osman Ayariga, the NDC’s deputy youth organizer, has criticized the government for its assertions that young people who gamble are lazy and may have addictions.
He claimed that the government was more to blame for its addiction to heinous crimes of corruption and lying.
“The argument about addiction is laughable. We have so many addictions in this country, as far as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is concerned. We have an addiction to corruption, we have an addiction to lies, we have an addiction to deception, we have an addiction to stealing, and we even have an addiction to people keeping huge sums of money in their rooms. And these are the kinds of addictions we should be talking about.”Osman Ayariga
Osman fiercely disagreed with the 10% tax, calling it unfair and a “very wicked” manner to reduce bettors’ winnings. He also bemoaned the reality that foreign businesses profit more than Ghanaians do.
“This tax is unfair and very wicked because if a foreign company which is not a betting company is allowed to deduct its losses and pay only on the profit and I, the youth who is trying to make ends meet, who is trying to survive, I am not allowed to also deduct my losses, and you only come in to deduct the percentage from just a one-off win, that is a lazy approach.
“If it were that everyone is profiled by the GRA and GRA is able to compute and know what each individual makes as profit and loss and is able to deduct from the profit, that will make sense. Otherwise, this 10 percent deduction from people’s winnings is a lazy approach.”Osman Ayariga