Kenyan High Court Revokes Regulatory Decision Blocking Milestone Bet from Using SportPesa’s Trade Name

Milestone Bet will be allowed to resume its operations in Kenya under the SportPesa trade name.

This will be possible because the High Court Judge Pauline Nyamweya revoked the decision of the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) to suspend the gambling operator from using its SportPesa trade name, along with its domains, PayBill numbers and short codes.

A couple of months ago, Milestone Games received an operating license under which it was allowed to run its Milestone Bet betting platform. After a deal with SportPesa Global Holdings Ltd, the company was permitted to use the brand name of SportPesa. This agreement, however, did not end well for the company because on October 31st, the BCLB suspended Milestone Games’ operating license saying that the company was not authorized to use SportPesa’s trade name.

In a letter sent to SportPesa, the chairman of the betting regulatory body, Cyrus Maina, accused Milestone Games of getting engaged in dishonest agreements aimed at returning SportPesa to the Kenyan gambling market.

As Mr. Maina revealed, Milestone Games Limited held a license that allowed to use the Milestone Bet trade name on the territory of the country. The BCLB’s Chairman further explained that the company approached the local gambling watchdog on October 30th to inform it that it had acquired rights to use the SportPesa brand for a period of five years and intends to do so in its Kenyan services.

This was not considered legal by the Betting Control and Licensing Board, which eventually banned Milestone Games from using the SportPesa brand.

SportPesa Now Faces State Agency Investigation over Alleged Money Laundering

Earlier this week, Justice Pauline Nyamweya officially revoked the aforementioned decision and ordered the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to lift the suspension of the new SportPesa website. The official statement of the Justice read that the company would also be able to have its PayBill numbers restored.

The new domain of the company currently appears to be once again active.

The gambling companies SportPesa and Betin excited Kenya citing the strict regulation unveiled by the country’s Government and heavy taxes they were forced to pay.

At the time when it announced its decision to leave the country’s gambling sector, SportPesa shared that the Government’s decision to impose a 20% tax on all betting states was not fair and had a negative impact on both the treasury and their customers. According to the gambling operator, the 20% Withholding Tax on Winnings would make the customers’ economic urge to place bets literally non-existent, as such a high tax rate would deprive customers of their winnings.

SportPesa is currently facing a tough time as a State agency is investigating it for suspected money laundering following some claims that the sports betting company transferred KES30 billion from its local bank accounts to offshore banks. The Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) will now seek to find out whether the aforementioned amount generated by the online gambling operations was declared to the BCLB.

The Agency will also check whether the gambling operator paid taxes on that amount, which had reportedly been transferred to bank accounts in the Canary Islands, the Isle of Man and Dubai over a 3-year period.

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