Sportpesa Halts Operations Despite Comeback Promise

  • Update: 

    Betting firm Betin has halted its operations in Kenya after they terminated the contracts of all their staff.

    In a press release sent on Friday, September 27, the firm cited that it had terminated contracts because of redundancy.

    The firm stated that it had not been operational since July 2019 due to stringent laws imposed by the government. 

    It regretted the constant meetings with the government to find a solution to the impasse bore no fruits.

    The contracts will expire on October 31, 2019. It advised its employees to continue with their normal shifts as they look forward to having consultations to achieve a smooth exit. 

    Another firm, Sportpesa also halted its operations in Kenya.

    On Saturday, September 28, the firm took to social media to make the announcement, citing hostility from the Kenyan government

    "Sportpesa is disappointed with the decision by the Kenyan legislature to impose a 20 per cent excise tax on all betting stakes. The tax is based on a fundamental misunderstanding by the Rotich-led treasury of how revenue generation works in the bookmaker industry," read the statement on Twitter.

    Betin's notice after terminating contracts

    The firm further stated that it would reconsider the move if the environment becomes conducive.

    "Until such time that adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment is returned, the SportPesa brand will halt operations in Kenya," the statement read.

    According to the firm, which has sponsored several initiatives in Kenya, including sports clubs, the 20 per cent Withholding tax on winnings is detrimental to its fans desire to bet, as it deprives them their total winnings.

    "This will have severe consequences for licensed betting companies, which dutifully pay their taxes and ultimately will lead to a decline in government tax revenue to near zero and will halt all investments in sports in Kenya," the firm explained.

    The move comes after the firm had announced an agreement with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Tuesday, September 3. 

    Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards which were sponsored by Sportpesa

    Sportpesa had been continuously engaging the taxman on the current dilemma that has faced the firm over its licences.

    The betting giant stated that it had sessions with the industry regulators in order for all the parties to understand the industry from each other's perspectives.

    Sportpesa's move comes after Betin allegedly fired all its workers. 

    Sportpesa's press release after halting operations in Kenya