We remain committed to sports development in the country – SportPesa

By Robert Abong'o: Thursday, September 19th 2019 at 10:54 GMT +3 | Sports
CS Sports, Culture and National Heritage, Amina Mohamed receives a personalised Sportpesa-Everton jersey from Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri [Courtesy]

Following the announcement of clearance by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on September 5, SportPesa has hinted at how they plan to do their business once they re-acquire their trading licence. 

The giant gambling firm was among the 27 firms that had their paybill numbers suspended and trading licenses revoked two months ago, after failing to meet tax compliance policies.

Customers countrywide had to endure the wrath of the crackdown, the most painful, you could argue, seeing the firm cancel all its sponsorships to local sports clubs.

"Sportpesa as a business has been subjected to punitive measures by regulators such as delayed license renewal and the suspension of PayBill numbers with these actions considerably reducing the level of business operations. In light of these developments, we regrettably wish to announce that due to the uncertainty of this situation, Sportpesa will be cancelling sports sponsorships effective immediately, “read part of their statement seen on August 10.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri during Sportpesa KPL Awards at the School of Government in Kabete on Thursday 25/10/19 [Courtesy]

They, however, assured customers that sponsorships would return once they got back to business.

On September 8, a local website reported that the firm had ruled out ‘full’ sponsorships after it had reached an agreement with the government to resume operations once cleared by the Betting Control and Licencing Board (BCLB) and that CEO Ronald Karauri said they would only support ‘a few’ football clubs.

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SportPesa, however, clarified through their Head of Communications, Jean Kiarie saying they are still evaluating the position of the business in the market and will conclude on which areas to sponsor.

“We will review the business position pursuant to this and determine the areas of sponsorships that we will be able to support. We remain committed to sports development in the country and we will aim to restart sponsorship of all our previous agreements, to the best of our ability,” said Kiarie.

Local football clubs that have benefited directly from SportPesa include Kenya Premier League champions Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

SportPesa has also been the Premier League’s official sponsors.  

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