Sportpesa return has been blocked by BCLB

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has blocked Kenyan betting operator Sportpesa from returning to activity in its home country. The BCLB ruled that they did not have permission to use the Sportpesa brand in a recent letter.

Return blocked

Milestone Games Limited, who had acquired the right to use the Sportpesa brand for the next five years only returned to the Kenyan market on 30 October. This came as they withdrew from the market due to an “unfair operating environment”.

After informing the BCLB of their return, they received a letter from the BCLB Chairman, Cyrus Maina who noted that this return was not possible. This was due to an appeal currently in place over its own license and so another licensee couldn’t use the brand.

Maina said: “According to information in our possession, the trading name Sportpesa belongs to Pevans East Africa, a company which has filed an appeal in court over its gaming licence and the matter, case number 471 of 2019, will be heard on November 16, 2020.”

Payments blocked

As a result of this issue, BCLB has suspended the license held by Milestone Games Limited to operate under the Sportpesa brand. They have also gone as far as requesting that Safaricom, owner of M-Pesa mobile payment service stops any payment processing.

This means that Sportpesa is unable to operate in the Kenyan market. This could result in further questions of the future of this brand but for now, we wait until the appeal is over.

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