Giant betting firm, SportPesa, has rubbished claims going viral on social media that it is exiting its Kenyan market due to frustrations by the government.
The allegations first hit the internet on Thursday, July 18, with a report alleging that the company held a meeting on Wednesday to inform its Kenyan staff of the looming retrenchment.
“A source at the betting company informed them that the meeting between SportPesa and the Kenyan government bore no fruit,” the report, which has made the rounds online, further claims.
The management of the betting firm has since dismissed the allegations as “fake”, assuring its Kenyan customers that they are doing everything possible to resume normal operations.
According to CEO Captain Ronald Karauri, the company directly employees at least 400 Kenyan citizens which they have reaffirmed them of the safety of their jobs.
“What you’re reading online about our alleged impending foldup in the Kenyan market is fake,” he added.
SportPesa is among the 27 betting companies in Kenya, whose licenses were not renewed on July 1 over allegations that they are yet to meet tax-compliance requirements.
This is happening at the time that the firm has sued the Kenyan government seeking compensation for the days it has been out of business after the State ordered Safaricom to stop processing payments for sports betting companies.
They also want the court to quash a notice issued by BCLB to Safaricom that disabled their SMS short codes and M-Pesa Paybill numbers.
The betting firm and its rival Betin Kenya say the July 12 switch-off of its M-Pesa pay bills and SMS shortcodes 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.