The government has yet again deemed a blow to betting giant Sportpesa by sending it out of business after the company’s management made ownership changes without duly informing the regulator. The operation license for Sportpesa was yesterday revoked and the company ordered to shut down its operations again. This is how it all went down. Sportpesa applied for its new license through a company called Milestone Games Limited. It then paid Ksh. 200,000 as required by law so that the regulator, Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), can look into its directors and shareholders before clearing it.
By then, Milestone Games Limited was listed to have two shareholders; Nob Five Limited (9950 shares) and Wilson Ngatia Karungaru (50 shares). At the time, Nob Five was owned by John Munene Nderitu (250 shares), Jackline Nyambura Kungu (500 shares) and Joseph Muendo Mutua (250 shares). The board was satisfied with the owners and gave the company the greenlight to resume operations.
Shortly after its resumption, Sportpesa secretly brought in another shareholder, Selenium Limited. Interestingly, this Selenium Limited is owned by Mr. Ronald Karauri, the Sportpesa CEO, alongside Francis Waweru Kiarie, another Pevans shareholder. Pevans was the company Sportpesa had initially registered with before switching recently to Milestone games limited.
Daily Nation reports that Sportpesa owners on Thursday appeared before the BCLB to explain this discrepancy after the agency served them with a Show no cause letter a few days ago. However, the owners failed to convince the board leading to the cancellation of their license again.
“Having considered the foregoing, the Board was not satisfied with the explanations proffered by your company and accordingly arrived at the decision to cancel your company’s bookmakers off-the course license number 0000205 dated 6th October 2020,” BCLB ruled as reported by Daily Nation.
This comes several weeks after the company roared back to life sending its faithful clients into a celebratory mode. A previous survey had indicated that Sportpesa was the most trusted betting company in Kenya thanks to its instant payouts, better odds and weekly multi-million jackpots.