Latest update: Major Betting firms among them SportPesa in court over paybills numbers

By Game Yetu: Tuesday, August 6th 2019 at 16:00 GMT +3 | Sports

Betting firms SportPesa, Betin and lxBet have gone to court to challenge the Government over their paybill numbers suspension.

The betting firms denied any wrongdoing and maintained that they have met their regulatory requirements adding that the payment disruption by the state was illegal.

The State struck at the heart of 27 betting firms, ordering telecommunication companies to shut down their paybill numbers and shortcodes until their licenses are renewed.

The three betting firms urged Justice John Mativo to lift orders by Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) that cancelled their betting licences.

Through lawyer Paul Muite, SportPesa said the board acted in bad faith by asking the regulator to withhold its licence over the tax dispute arguing that thousands of jobs would be lost if licenses are not renewed.

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 “The board acted arbitrarily, causing injustice to the company and threatening hundreds of jobs,” Muite said.

Betin also, through their lawyer Prof Githu Muigai said that the board should not act contrary to the law after a court order allowed them to continue operations uninterrupted until the matter is resolved.

He pleaded with the court to lift the suspension.

Meanwhile, the Government have renewed the licences for ten betting firms namely Betway, Mozolt Bet, Odi bet, Eastleigh bet, Lucky to you, Ken book makers, Bet boss, Kick off, Easi bet and Palms bet.

In compliance with a directive by the industry regulator and the Kenya Revenue Authority, Gaming firm BetLion have begun deducting 20 per cent on punters’ winnings.

BetLion is also among betting firms whose licenses have been renewed by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).

Money deducted from betting and lottery will be used to finance sports, art, culture development and universal healthcare.

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