The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Pius Enam Hadzide, says the authority is excited about the 10% tax on bet and lottery winnings introduced by the government, as it would disincentivize gambling, especially by the youth.

He told Bernard Avle in an interview on The Point of View on Citi TV on Monday that the tax was necessary to deter the youth from gambling because it was dangerous for any country to have its youth fixated on gambling.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Hadzide earlier lashed out at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for criticizing the 10% betting tax.

The introduction of the 10% betting tax, part of the government’s efforts to raise revenue, has been met with criticism and concern.

The NDC youth wing, in a statement signed by the National Youth Organizer, George Opare Addo, announced a series of actions to force the government to withdraw the 10% betting tax.

The decision comes in response to what the party perceives as a burdensome taxation policy that unfairly impacts the country’s youth and the broader betting industry.

Speaking on Eyewitness News with Selorm Adonoo, Pius Hadzide stated, “I am pretty much scandalized listening to the NDC, with the impression they are creating. If there is a problem with employment, in the NDC’s view, young people should resort to betting as a means of resolving whatever challenges young people are confronted with. I am scandalized.”

“Let me just place on record that it is not just the Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who has issues with betting and what betting can do to the value system of any country. Even the Minority Leader, Ato Forson, has called on the state to ban all forms of betting.”

The Deputy Communications Director of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Malik Basintale, has also urged the government to abolish betting and all forms of gaming in the country if it does not support young people engaging in such activities. Read more…