The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has now issued orders that the betting company, SportPesa does fresh application for a license.
The betting companies regulator’s director, Peter Mbugi had on Thursday, September 18thsaid that SportPesa must ensure the reapplication is done for the board to determine whether or not it will give the betting company a nod to resume its business.
Mr. Mbugi said that other such companies have been given the same directive and can only render their services after duly complying with the regulator’s requirements.
“SportPesa must reapply for a business license just like the other gaming firms and operators. We will have the reapplication scrutinized then make a decision as to whether the firm can continue with operations. This is what has happened to other firms,” said Mr. Mbugi.
SportPesa was among the 27 betting and gaming firms whose permits were not renewed as they were waiting for clearance on their suitability to perform.
SportPesa also had a row with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over tax compliance which had further delayed the firm from getting its betting permit.
The betting company has however said that it has finally reached a ceasefire with the revenue collection authority and is looking forward to resuming operation once it is cleared by the regulating board.
The taxman had earlier in June 2019 accused SportPesa and its rival betting company Betin, of failing to comply with the tax demands and had taken action against the 200 billion betting sector.
During the period of betting firms closure, the taxman demanded that Safaricom pays 5.29 billion shillings, as withholding tax arrears from Betin and a further payment of 3.29 billion shillings as withholding tax arrears due from Sportpesa.
While SportPesa CEO had earlier confirmed that the firm had settled all the issues it had with the taxman and was positive that it would come back to business after being cleared by the regulating board BCLB, he has recently evaded the question on reapplication of license and the development of the inquiry that was to determine the firm’s suitability of operations.
Records from SportPesa show that in 2017, the firm paid a total of 3.63 billion shillings which increased to 6.29 billion shillings in 2018.