Kenya has ordered its telecom giant, Safaricom to stop processing payments for all betting companies in the country. The telecom company was ordered to shut down mobile money and SMS codes for the companies.
Kenya’s betting regulator, Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) have said that the 27 betting companies in the country whose license expired since the 1st of July 2019 were yet to renew it. This order puts Safaricom in a tough position, considering that betting companies are a huge source of revenue for the company.
This order affects large betting companies like SportPesa who has achieved a revenue of about 204 billion Kenyan Shillings in 2018. Safaricom, however, wrote back to the BCLB through their lawyers, requesting time to carry out the order, as abrupt shut down of the service will affect users of about 12 million who already funded their wallets.
However, two of the betting companies had obtained court orders to continue their operations without a renewed license. SportPesa one of the companies that secured the court order has stressed that they have met all tax and regulatory requirements required of them.
Ms Lola Okulo, Senior Content Editor at SportPesa said that SportPesa is a law-abiding corporate citizen that upholds all tax and regulatory requirements. She said that they will continue to address the licensing matter with industry regulators and stakeholders.
This situation further stresses Safaricom’s position in the case, as they have to comply with the orders.
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