We are not resuming operations in Kenya, SportPesa tells gamblers

SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri
SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri. [Photo courtesy]

Ignore rumours on the resumption of SportPesa in Kenya, chief executive Ronald Karauri has told Kenyans.

Karauri spoke barely hours after a tweep sent a screenshot alleging the betting company had been issued a certification to operate in the country beginning June.

We have been issued the certificate of operation from the government of Kenya and we are set to resume in June – Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri,” the tweet was captioned.

In response, Karauri rubbished the claims terming them “fake news”.

In a separate tweet, a gambler only identified as Kimruto asked the company to give dates of their resumption saying he misses the firm.

In response, SportPesa said that it has no definite timeline of when it would resume operations in the country.

“We miss you too @Kimruto, we do not have an exact timeline on when we shall resume. Upon resumption we sure shall communicate officially. Keep it SportPesa,” read the response.

SportPesa shut down operations in Kenya on September 2019 citing draconian taxation by the government.

In the new law governing the industry, SportPesa and other betting firms in the country are subject to the imposition of a 20 percent tax on all betting stakes.

This, it cited, made its business in Kenya unattractive prompting its closure.

“Further compounded by the currently in-effect 20 percent withholding tax on winnings, the economic incentive to place bets will be completely removed as the taxes will deprive consumers of their total winnings.

“Until such time that adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment is returned, the SportPesa brand will halt operations in Kenya,” it said in a statement then.

Betin, which together with Sportpesa controlled 60 percent of the industry, also shut down citing the same reasons as SportPesa.