The return of SportPesa has been met by one other main setback after the Betting Board adopted by way of with its risk to cancel the licence of a brand new firm that the agency had plotted to make use of to re-enter the market.
The Betting Management and Licensing Board (BCLB) accused Milestone Video games Restricted, which is the brand new entrance for SportPesa, of acquiring its licence underneath one set of homeowners, solely to later switch its shareholding to a different entity, thereby circumventing the board’s due diligence necessities on betting firm possession.
Homeowners of Milestone appeared earlier than the board on Thursday to defend themselves in opposition to the accusations, however the board in its ruling stated it was not happy and went forward to cancel its licence.
Which means SportPesa will now must stop its operations simply days after its return. The SportPesa trademark was owned by Pevans East Africa.
Within the resolution seen by the Nation, BCLB chairman Cyrus Maina stated that when Milestone utilized for its bookmaker’s licence, its shareholders have been Nob 5 Restricted (9,950 shares) and Wilson Ngatia Karungaru (50 shares). On the time, Nob 5 was owned by John Munene Nderitu (250 shares), Jackline Nyambura Kungu (500 shares) and Joseph Muendo Mutua (250 shares).
As a requirement for licensing, Milestone paid Sh200,000 on September 17, 2020 for due diligence investigations on its administrators on the time, an act that was achieved and the board was happy that they have been certainly match and correct to carry a bookmaker’s licence.
James Muigai Ngengi was the addressee in correspondence between Milestone and the regulator.
However instantly it obtained the licence, a brand new firm, Selenium Restricted, emerged on its shareholders roll.
Selenium Restricted is owned by Ronald Karauri, the SportPesa chief govt, alongside Francis Waweru Kiarie, one other Pevans shareholder. This allowed house owners of the SportPesa model to beat the board’s due diligence necessities and get again within the sport.
“Having thought of the foregoing, the Board was not happy with the reasons proffered by your organization and accordingly arrived on the resolution to cancel your organization’s bookmakers off-the course license quantity 0000205 dated sixth October 2020,” BCLB dominated.
If SportPesa had gotten its method, it will not have wanted to vary something to get again in the sport. Not even its CEO, workplace handle, or gaming and cost infrastructure — since they’re one and the identical factor.
Pevans ceased operations following the cancellation of its working licence in July final 12 months over unpaid taxes and penalties amounting to Sh21.4 billion.
The SportPesa model was then offered to UK-based Sportpesa International Holdings Restricted which subsequently assigned the correct to make use of the commerce mark in Kenya to Milestone.