All gamblers who have their money in the betting firm sites have been given a 48-hours ultimatum to withdraw the money or risk losing it.
This follows after the state gave the leading telecommunications company Safaricom a directive to shut down pay bills, SMS and shortcode services that it offered the betting firms.
In response to the directive, Safaricom requested the government, through the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BLCB) to give them time, to allow gamers to withdraw money from the sites before they become inaccessible.
Safaricom had its fears that the directive would affect a large number of people of about 12 million which would lead to inevitable legal implications.
BLCB responded back to Safaricom in writing through the boards acting director Liti Wambua.
The letter read, “This is to permit you to allow gamers of the subject firms to withdraw any funds they may have deposited in the material period within 48 hours from the date hereof and duly notify them of the same, quoting this letter as authority.”
Most betting firms claim that they had not been informed by the BLCB about their revoked licenses until Tuesday when they saw their names enlisted as firms with unrenewed licenses.
Some top companies such as Sportpesa have not had their licenses renewed by the board since they have a pending case in court against the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The taxman has been claiming that the Sportpesa company has not been paying taxes with correspondence to the profits they make.
Sportpesa took the issue to court and told the court that KRA had not made clear assessments concerning the matter.
“The funds held by Safaricom belong to individual players who placed bets through SportPesa. Those funds do not belong to and are not held by Safaricom on behalf of SportPesa,” read the court application by sportpesa.
In the meantime, the war of tags between the government and the betting firms continues, with only seven firms allowed to operate legally.