, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – The government is set to reinstate betting licenses for 10 out of twenty-seven firms whose permits had been revoked for failing to comply with Kenyan laws including failure to remit taxes.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has cleared the ten firms for licencing by Betting Control and Licencing Board (BCLB).
Those set to have their licenses renewed are Betway, Mozolt Bet, Odi bet, Eastleigh bet, Lucky to you, Ken book makers, Bet boss, Kick off, Easi bet and Palms bet, according to officials at the Interior ministry.
Interestingly, market leaders SportsPesa and BetIn are missing in the list.
Already the Government has ordered mobile telecommunication companies to shut down shortcodes operated by the troubled firms, sparking outrage.
The firms have already filed a challenge in court insisting they are being targeted unfairly.
The firms have maintained they paid requisite taxes as required by law.
“SportPesa has been fully compliant with all tax and legal requirements in Kenya. Our business has uniquely and consistently boosted sports development in the country, and we have not minced our support in community investment,” SportPesa outlined in a statement on July 12.
“This was witnessed by our widespread impact in areas such as football, boxing, rugby and social projects involving water access, environment and skills uplift in the country. These are now at severe risk following the measures taken by BCLB.”
The betting industry generates an estimated Sh200 billion annually, pretax.
A week ago, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi signed deportation orders for 17 directors working with betting firms –most of them from Eastern Europe – for violating conditions set under their work permits.
The Interior ministry said the 17 were not authorized to work in the betting industry.