The betting industry has been on the receiving end from the Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi. On April 1, he swore to introduce tough measures to regulate the betting sector, that was making billions but evading taxes, while at the same time misleading many youths.
In so doing, he granted all betting firms three months until July 1 to seek fresh renewal of licenses upon proving tax compliance, which was among the conditions that betting and gaming firms had to meet before having their licences renewed.
They were also expected to prove that they had been operating within the law and that they are sufficiently liquid and have performed financially well for the past four years as per the new set of rules rolled out by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).
Following a crackdown on the betting firms, the government recently failed to renew licenses for 27 betting firms, despite the affected firms claiming to have complied to set regulations, that saw betting enthusiasts panic about their money in the accounts of these firms.
The government even went ahead to order the withdrawal of pay bill numbers and SMS code for 27 betting firms whose licenses have failed to meet the outstanding renewal requirements in an official letter to telecommunications companies Safaricom PLC, Airtel and Telkom Kenya
However, KRA has cleared 10 betting companies whose licences had failed to be renewed by the government over tax compliance.
Among these firms include; Betway, OdiBets, Mozzartbet, Ken Bookmakers, Lucky 2u, Eazi Bet, Kick off, Eastleighbet, Palms Bet and Bet boss. These firms join the list of companies that have been operational having complied with the requirements of the Board which include, BetLion, MCheza, Kwikbet, Gamemania, Betpalace, and Betika.
The likes of SportPesa which was among the 27 firms have been in touch with its customers concerning the cancellation of its license and are working with the relevant authorities to restore their systems.