19 betting companies, 13 casinos, and six lotteries face closure after Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board has ordered telecommunications companies to shut down pay bill numbers and shortcodes for failing to renew their operating licenses.
The 27 include SportPesa, Betin, and Betway. Others are Betpawa, Premierbet, Lucky 2 U, 1XBet, Mozzartbet, Dafabet, World Sport Bet, Atari Gaming, Palmsbet and Bet Boss. Also affected are Betyetu, Elitebet, Bungabet, Cysabet, Nestbet, Easybet, Kick Off, Millionaire Sports Bet, Kenya Sports Bet and Eastleighbet.
According to BCLB’s acting Director Liti Wambua, the 27 firms are yet to meet undisclosed licensing requirements and are being vetted to establish if they are fit to hold gambling permits.
“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 the outcome of ongoing due diligence to determine if they are fit and proper to hold a license from this board. Consequently, we request you to suspend their pay bills and shortcodes until otherwise advised,” Wambua stated.
Renewal of the licenses will be dependent on operations and directors of the firms getting a clean bill of health in the ongoing security vetting process.
If effected, the orders will affect 12 Million betting accounts.
In the current fiscal year (FY19/20), the National Treasury proposed to introduce excise duty on betting activities at the rate of ten percent of the amount staked ‘In order to curtail the negative effects arising from betting activities’ according to Henry Rotich, the Treasury Cabinet Secretary.