Last updated 2 months ago | By Robert Abong'o
Football Kenya Federation has announced BetKing Kenya as the official Division One League title sponsors. The deal , which will see the renaming of the league to BetKing Division One League is worth Sh100 million for a period of five years.
The 32 Division One clubs from Zone A and Zone B will be allocated at least Sh500,000 annual grant from the Federation.
“This is the first time in the history of Kenyan football that the Division One league has attracted a sponsor and so we are happy to announce yet another milestone as we endeavor to raise Kenyan football’s commercial value,” said FKF President Nick Mwendwa.
“We believe this deal, which further underpins BetKing’s commercial developmental role in football, both at the national and grassroot level will not only help ease our clubs’ financial obligations but also play a pivotal role in raising the level of competition in the league,” added the FKF president.
The announcement comes a few days after the FKF President signed yet another deal with BetKing Kenya, worth Sh1.2 Billion for the Premier League that will see each of the 18 top tier clubs receive at least Sh8 Million yearly.
The official unveiling of the partner, as well as the league logo, will be held in September.
SPORTPESA CEO RONALD KARAURI EXCHANGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH NICK MWENDWA
On Sunday, July 19, SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri blasted FKF for entering into an agreement with Nigerian betting firm BetKing instead of a Kenyan firm.
“FKF even if it’s looking for votes, shouldn’t you have considered Betika or Odibets or any of the other 100 licensed Kenyan companies?” asked Karauri on Twitter.
FKF even if it’s looking for votes, shouldn’t you have considered Betika or Odibets or any of the other 100 licensed Kenyan companies? https://t.co/NYWfVAr9XS — Capt. Ronald Karauri (@KarauriR) July 19, 2020
In response, the FKF boss dismissed Karauri’s comment, saying Kenyan football supported Sportpesa even when they went to sponsor other teams abroad.
“Not a fair comment Captain! Coming from you and knowing that Football supported you even when you went outside and sponsored others for more than Kenya,” said Mwendwa.
Not a fair comment Captain ! Coming from you and knowing that Football supported you even when you went outside and sponsored others for more than Kenya. — Nick Mwendwa (@Nmwendwa) July 19, 2020
Kenyans, more so betting enthusiasts, you could say were left clutching at straws following the wave of closure of betting sites that failed to comply with taxation and licensing rules.
SportPesa, having been the biggest betting firm in terms of popularity, shut down all its operations in the county in September last year, citing ‘hostile regulations’.
"Sportpesa is disappointed with the decision by the Kenyan legislature to impose a 20% excise tax on all betting stakes. The tax is based on a fundamental misunderstanding by the Rotich led treasury of how revenue generation works in the bookmaker industry. "Until such time that adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment is returned, the SportPesa brand will halt operations in Kenya," said the firm in a statement.
The firm was optimistic of resuming operations when once the country put in place "adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment."
However, this never happened.