Latest message from SportPesa and Betin amid government crackdown

By Robert Abong'o: Wednesday, July 24th 2019 at 11:04 GMT +3 | Sports
SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri [Courtesy]

Giant sports betting firms SportPesa and Betin Kenya have given updates on their current situations amid the government crackdown that has left several betting companies clutching at straws.

This is after the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) canceled 27 company licenses due to failure to meet the government's regulatory requirements on license renewal.

The Central Bank of Kenya also weeks notified the banks to halt the provision of banking services to the betting firms that have failed to comply with state regulations.

Betting firm owners have continued to deny any wrongdoing, with SportPesa leading the line in refuting claims it had not fully complied with all legal and tax obligations. It also assured customers that their business was not coming to a close.

The nightmare started when Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i directed that betting firms be vetted afresh by July 1 [Courtesy]

The firm also published another demographic statement on Tuesday dismissing claims of underage gamblers on its sites.

However, for some betting sites, it is still possible to actively bet (play) and withdraw your winnings.

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On Monday, the Kenya Revenue Authority cleared 10 companies to renew their licenses, leaving another 17 struggling to keep their heads above water.

On Wednesday, Game Yetu contacted the two firms, inquiring on the progress of negotiations and the possibility of them returning to full operations.

Here are the responses given to Game Yetu by SportPesa and Betin:

Betin

Betin Kenya logo and slogan [Courtesy]

“In reply to your query, we are still addressing the matter with industry stakeholders, the regulators and the government. Therefore, all we can do is wait until the matter has been resolved, there is no specific timeline but we will let you know as soon as this matter is over and you are able to deposit and resume playing. I'm sorry that you are not able to make your deposit and place your bets at the moment…”

SportPesa

SportPesa logo [Courtesy]

“We are in discussions with the government and relevant stakeholders and are positive that we will be back to full operation soon. We regret to inform you that our services are temporarily unavailable due to a suspension of services by key suppliers. SportPesa is working tirelessly to resume full operations.”

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