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SportPesa hits back on Betting Board after services shut down


SportPesa has termed a directive to telecomunications companies to withdraw its pay bill numbers as illegal, abrupt, malicious and prejudicial.

The company expressed disappointment accusing the Betting Control and Licensing Board of trying to ‘discourage and disrupt’ Kenyans.

“SportPesa is highly disappointed by the recent BCLB’s illegal action to block our short codes for deposit and withdrawal despite the High Court order. ,” a statement from SportPesa reads.

According to SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri, the company has complied with tax and legal requirements.

He argues that the move could ‘drive the business underground and have far reaching consequences on the social and economic agenda of this country.

On Thursday, BCLB ordered Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya to withdraw pay bill numbers and SMS codes of 27 betting companies among them SportPesa, Betin and Betway.

Users were on Friday unable to access their accounts only.

Those who tried to access their accounts were unsuccessful. The got message which read:

“Failed. Dear customer, this Paybill is unavailable due to the Government directive to suspend Betting Paybill Numbers. Kindly contact your Betting Company.”

The directive comes days after the government ordered review of licences of mire than 19 betting companies operating in the country.

Among them are SportPesa, Betin, Betway, Betpawa, PremierBet, Lucky2u, 1xBet, MozzartBet, Dafabet, World Sports Betting, Atari Gaming, Palms Bet and Betboss among others.

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