The government has directed mobile money service providers; Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya to withdraw pay bill numbers and SMS codes of 27 betting companies. In a letter to the telcos, Betting Control and Licensing Board Acting Director Liti Wambua said the licenses of the 27 firms remain withdrawn, hence, their payment platforms should also be suspended.
“We wish to inform you that the licenses for the following betting firms were not renewed until they meet the outstanding renewal requirements as well as outcome of ongoing due diligence to determine if they are fit and proper to hold a license from this board.
Among those affected in the new directive are SportPesa, Kenyan sports betting giant with operations in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and the UK, Betin and Betway. Others are Kick-Off, Atari, Millionaire Sports Bet, Palmsbet, Chezacash, Betyetu, Bungabet, Cysabet, Saharabet, Easibet, Easleighbet, Sportybet and AGB Lottery & Gaming.
“Consequently, we request you to suspend their pay bills and short codes until otherwise advised,” reads the letter dated July 10, 2019.
The affected firms are said to have failed to prove that they were tax compliant as required by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).
This was discovered after a probe by a multi-agency team constituted to probe the licenses of all betting and gaming companies in the country