Regulator Throws Sportpesa Back To Drawing Board Over License

Sportpesa, withdraws sponsorships
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Sportpesa is still trapped in KRA and Betting Control and Licensing Board snare. Recently, SportPesa announced that it had reached an agreement with taxman to resume operations once cleared by the BCLB after an over two-month absence. But the acting BCLB director Peter Mbugi said they will scrutinize SportPesa’s application once it’s submitted and consider whether to give its nod for the firm to resume operations. This implies that SportPesa will have to apply afresh for a license.

“We will scrutinize the firm’s license application and make a decision on this just like we have done for many others,” said Mr. Mbugi.

The regulator had given the green light to several gaming firms and operators after due diligence on their applications. Sportpesa was among 27 firms whose permits were not renewed awaiting the outcome of an inquiry on suitability to operate.

In June, KRA demanded Ksh 8.59 billion from Safaricom as withholding tax arrears due from SportPesa and Betin Kenya. Safaricom was asked to pay Ksh 5.29 billion withholding tax arrears due from Gamcode Limited, trading as Betin, and  Ksh 3.29 billion due from Pevans East Africa, which trades as SportPesa.

SportPesa chief executive Ronald Karauri an earlier interview said all pending issues had been settled and a deal reached which should see the firm get back to business as soon as BCLB clears it and that they had talks with KRA who allowed them to get back into the business.

Last year, betting companies combined revenue hit Ksh204 billion and Sportpesa attested Ksh 400 million as withholding tax on winnings.

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