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Sportpesa announces return to sports betting in Kenya

Betting firm SportPesa has announced a return to the country’s betting scene after more than a year out.

SportPesa was among 27 betting firms that had their trading licences revoked by the government in July last year due to failure in meeting tax compliance policies.

But even after being cleared two months later by the Kenya Revenue Authority making it viable to get back its licence, the firm shut down operations in Kenya in September 2019 citing heavy taxation after the government’s move to impose a 20 percent withholding tax on all winning bets.

However, minutes past 7pm, SportPesa CEO Captain Ronald Karauri announced the return of the betting firm’s operations in the country, saying they will now operate under a new Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) licence.

“SportPesa is back! I’m happy to announce that the SportPesa brand is back under a new BCLB licence holder, ” tweeted Captain Karauri.

Mr Karauri said SportPesa will uphold the highest standards of service and responsible gaming, adding that they are ready to work closely with BCLB and all other stakeholders in the gaming industry.

Further, he pointed out that the firm will explore partnerships in the country with the aim of promoting development of sports in communities in the country.

“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,” said the CEO.

“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.

Prior to its exit from the country, the betting firms sponsored the Kenyan Premier League , Kenya’s domestic top tier club competition, the national football teams Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets.

It was also a shirt sponsor of Kenya Sevens Rugby team, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards as well as Nakuru All Stars, a second division team.

SportPesa has footprints in Tanzania, South Africa, Italy, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom.