SportPesa announces comeback after breakthrough in licence talks

SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri [Courtesy]

By Mkarimu Media

Betting company SportPesa has made major announcement following clearance by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

The firm revealed to customers that it had made noteworthy improvement in its engagements with relevant stakeholders regarding its licencing issue.

Betting firm SportPesa is set to make a return to the betting industry

This announcement folliws a lengthy two-month absence prompted by the cancellation of its operational license.

The firm can now apply for a new licence which is issued by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).

“Sportpesa has been engaging stakeholders on the current licensing issue. Our sessions with regulators and government are targeted towards creating a better understanding of the gaming industry with the view of creating a shared perspective on related regulation, including tax administration,” read part of the statement.

The firm goes on to reveal significant movement had been made in talks with the relevant shareholders and that they have been cleared by KRA, which means they are allowed to seek a new licence and get back to business.

“There has been notable progress in these sessions and we are pleased to announce that Kenya Revenue Authority have now cleared us to have our license renewed. SportPesa is confident that these processes will be completed soon allowing the company to resume full operations,” the firm revealed.
The firm then reassured customers that it supports the State’s long-term growth agenda and that it is keen on operating lawfully.

“We reaffirm our commitment to supporting the government’s economic development agenda by operating as a law-abiding business that is committed to tax compliance,”

Once it acquires its licence, SportPesa will join 10 other companies which were cleared in July. These include Betway, Mozzart Bet, Odi Bets, Eastleigh Bet, Lucky to you, Ken book makers, Bet boss, Kick off, Easi bet and Palms bet.

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

Their licenses were revoked by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) pending clearance of withholding tax on winnings.

The firms also saw their M-pesa pay bills and SMS short codes withdrawn in early July even as Sportpesa disputed KRA’s substantive tax claim.

SportPesa headed to court challenging KRA’s definition on winnings and most recently even sought compensation for money lost since the government sanctioned shutdown.

Source: News Agencies

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