SportPesa: We’re set to resume business

Thursday, September 5th, 2019 00:00 |
SportPesa chief executive Ronald Karauri addresses the press at a past function. Photo/PD/FILE


SportPesa yesterday said it is now waiting for Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) to issue them with a new trading certification to allow the company resume full operation.

Chief Executive Ronald Karauri made the remarks a day after Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) cleared the firm, paving the way to re-acquire its trading licence and its subsequent comeback.

He said the firm had applied for the licence a while back and is only waiting for its issuance and will then swing back to action.

When the People Daily reached out to him yesterday, to establish whether there were any developments after KRA’s clearance, Karauri said: “Not yet. We are waiting for BCLB now.

The application was done a long time ago and we were just waiting because they said they were awaiting KRA clearance, which we have now.”

Engaging stakeholders

On Tuesday, SportPesa said it has been engaging stakeholders on the issue, saying its sessions with regulators and government are towards creating a better understanding of the gaming industry and to create a shared perspective on regulations, including tax administration.

“There has been notable progress in these sessions and we are pleased that KRA has now cleared us to have our licence renewed.

SportPesa is confident that these processes will be completed soon, allowing the company to resume full operations,” the firm said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

It added: “As SportPesa, we affirm our commitment to supporting government’s economic development agenda by operating as a law-abiding business committed to tax compliance.”

It was a big blow to sports when SportPesa said last month that it had cancelled all sponsorship, arguing the gaming industry had been operating in “an extremely” challenging business environment. 

The firm said it had been subjected to punitive measures by regulators such as delayed licence renewal and suspension of Paybill numbers with the actions “considerably” reducing the level of business operations.

Block pay bill

SportPesa said the government’s move to block its Paybill numbers had given rise to immense pressure on the business necessitating a re-evaluation of some plans.

SportPesa insisted that it has always been a law-abiding organisation and has been compliant with the Statutory and Regulatory requirements to the letter.

The gaming industry woes began when Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i ordered the suspension of all betting licences effective July 1, as government widened crackdown on rogue operators in the multi-billion-shilling industry.

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