Giant betting firm SportPesa announces return to Kenyan market

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri during a past press conference.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • In a short statement, the giant betting firm revealed they have been cleared to resume operations.

Gaming company SportPesa has announced its return to the Kenyan market after 16 months in the cold after the company's operating license was revoked by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).

In a short statement, the giant betting firm revealed they have been cleared to resume operations.

"We are delighted to resume operations in Kenya. We are pleased to once again offer gaming services to our customers. Over the coming months, we are excited to explore a wide range of new partnerships in the country. Thank you for your support," the statement said.

BCLB declined to renew the licenses of 19 gaming companies among them SportPesa due to various regulatory shortcomings among them tax evasion allegations.

The company responded by canceling all its sports sponsorships in the country citing a harsh operating market.

In September last year, SportPesa announced they had received the go-ahead from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to re-apply for the license.

“There has been notable progress in these sessions, and we are pleased that Kenya Revenue Authority has now cleared us to have our license renewed,” a statement from the gaming company said at the time.

SportPesa CEO Captain Ronald Karauri took to Twitter to express his joy on Friday.

“SportPesa is back! I’m happy to announce that the SportPesa brand is back under a new BCLB license holder. As market leaders, SportPesa will focus on upholding the highest standards of service and responsible gaming. We look forward to working closely with BCLB and all other stakeholders,” he tweeted.

“We are excited to explore a wide range of partnerships in Kenya over the coming weeks and months, which will prioritise the development of sports in communities across our Great Country!” he added.

The return of SportPesa is welcome news to the Kenyan sporting industry as the company had partnerships with teams and federations across different sports before their license was revoked.

Reliable sources told Nation Sport that some investors who were key shareholders had to exit the company. SportPesa also had to pay all the outstanding taxes before getting a new operating license.

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