Sportpesa has just resumed activities in Kenya after a new ruling overturning its suspension was handed down from the country’s High Court.
The operator makes a return after a year-long withdrawal from its home market last month under a license held by Milestone Games, a new operator.
But this return was short-lived as the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), the country’s regulator, ruled that its new license holder did not have permission to use the Sportpesa brand. In a letter addressed to Sportpesa, BCLB chairman Cyrus Maina explained that Sportpesa was still involved in an appeal over its own license and that this has prevented another licensee from using the brand.
But after receiving multiple Kenyan High Court rulings in its favor, the operator revealed that it is now allowed to launch in the country.
“Sportpesa is pleased with a series of recent High Court rulings in Kenya, which have enabled us to rightfully return to our home market,” the operator said.
The BCLB initially requested a meeting with Milestone operations manager Bernard Chauro with regards to the suspension, but the BCLB explained that—considering the suspension had failed—the meeting would be cancelled.
“We continue to work with all regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which we operate and note the recent correspondence we have had with the Betting Control and Licensing Board,” Sportpesa said.
“We look forward to this issue being resolved quickly and efficiently, so that we can continue to provide our services and support the Kenyan economy at this essential time,” it added.
In 2019, Sportpesa withdrew from the Kenyan market due to an excise tax on betting stakes being increased from 10% to 20%. The tax was eventually removed in Kenya’s budget, which became law in July this year. But Ukur Yatani, Kenya’s Treasury Secretary, claimed the government will consider reintroducing the tax before the year ends.