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Struggling Betin Kenya And Sportpesa Now Sues State For Freezing Their Accounts

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Sport Pesa CEO Ronald Karauri.
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Problems continues to follow Betin Kenya which despite affirmation of tax compliance was the first betting firm to have their accounts frozen by the state on accusations of non-tax compliance by the KRA.

Tax collector accuse Betting Firms of owing up to Sh200B in what prompted a crackdown on the firm’s. Last week, the government went ahead with the threat and froze pay bill numbers of betting firms including Betin and Sportpesa both of whom have now gone to court to challenge the State’s decision.

The companies insists that they’ve complied with all the tax obligations terming the state’s move as blackmail. Now they want the government to compensate for the betting losses incurred during the period that their accounts have been frozen.

According to reports, SportPesa has sued seeking compensation for the days it has been out of business after the government ordered Safaricom to stop processing payments for sports betting companies.

The betting firm and its rival Betin Kenya say the July 12 switch-off of its M-Pesa pay bills and SMS short codes are illegal because they both have court orders allowing them to continue operating despite being denied licences by the State.

Both firms want the suspension of their payment systems lifted and the chairman and top executives of Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) jailed or fined for ordering the switch-off despite the court order.

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They also want the court to quash a notice issued by BCLB to Safaricom that disabled their SMS short codes and M-Pesa paybills.

The two firms, which are among the biggest in the sector, were among 27 firms whose betting licences had not been renewed, pending the outcome of an inquiry on suitability to operate. The gaming companies largely rely on Safaricom’s network to take bets, communicate with users and process payments through paybills.

In the past weeks, Betin associated with Gamcode Ltd has been struggling to stand on its feet and continuously giving its customers affirmations despite them complaining of being unable to receive betting wins which was attributed to government’s move to freeze their accounts citing non-tax compliance.


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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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