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SportPesa delivers news of HOPE to gamblers amid government crackdown

Last updated 11 months ago | By Odero Charles

CEO SportPesa Ronald Karauri. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Betting firm SportPesa has issued a statement denying claims that they are shutting down.

The announcement comes days after about 27 betting companies had their licences cancelled for failure to meet the new terms on licence renewal.

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The government recently ordered all betting firms to apply afresh for operating licences, starting July, in a move to net firms that have been evading taxes despite reaping billions of shillings in profits.

In their statement, SportPesa refuted claims of closure and it stated: “SportPesa wishes to refute claims that our business is closing down. We are in discussions with the government and relevant stakeholders and are positive that we will be back to full operation soon. Note that any update regarding our business is communicated through our channels.”

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There have been fears that the government crackdown on betting firms will impact heavily on millions of Kenyans who have made betting an income source and sports which rely on it for sponsorship.

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Kenyan Premier League champions, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are among sports clubs sweating over their financial sources after the government ordered the closure of pay bill and SMS shortcodes of sponsor SportPesa.

The State last week struck at the heart of 27 betting firms, ordering telcos to shut down their pay bill numbers and shortcodes till their licences are renewed.