Ghana’s vice president, who is also a prime candidate to become President later this year, has promised that he will remove gambling taxes if he is elected.
Ghana is set to hold general elections on December 7, where voters will elect the country's next President and members of parliament.
Mahamudu Bawumia is the presidential nominee for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which currently holds a majority in the country’s parliament.
Speaking at a party event on February 7, Bawumia told the audience: “Taxes on gambling will be scrapped under my administration.”
He did not provide any more details on this pledge and it is not clear if he is referring to all gambling taxes or the controversial 10 percent tax on players winnings introduced in August 2023.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has warned that gambling companies failing to comply with the new policy will face enforcement action, including the possible withdrawal of their licences.
Bawumia also proposed several other major fiscal changes, such as a move towards a “cashless society” and abolishing the existing E-levy, a 1.5 percent levy on all electronic transfers of money. Gambling is already exempt from this.
The current NPP majority in parliament is just one MP, with every other seat held by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) party.
John Mahama, the NDC presidential candidate, told local media in November 2023 that if elected he would “look at the number of taxes” imposed on the industry, but would not commit to removing gambling taxes.
Separately, the Gaming Commission of Ghana is in the process of drafting regulatory proposals aimed at modernising the existing gambling law before the end of 2024.
Preparations for this are still in the early stages, representatives from the regulator told Vixio GamblingCompliance at ICE London.
However, the regulator is keen to address new forms of gambling, strengthen player protection, implement a central monitoring system to track data in real time and improve anti-money laundering policies.