Kenya has remained with only three licenced online betting companies, following Betting Control and Licensing Board’s (BCLB) move to axe at least 97 players.
The three remaining companies include Betika, owned by Shop and Deliver Ltd, Pesa Bets Ltd’s Betafriq and Silicon Solutions Ltd’s Spotika.
“The board hereby notifies you that only the following gaming operators have been found to be compliant with the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act as well as the operating requirements issued by the Board as of 1st July, 2022 and, therefore, their 2022/23 financial year licenses have been renewed,” Maina wrote.
The move deals a blow to Sportpesa, one of Kenya’s biggest firms which has been bedeviled with squables including tax fights with the government and disagreements among its original owners.
MozzartBet and OdiBets have also been axed in the 2022/2023 licencing, leaving them out of the multi-billion industry.
The High Court in Nairobi recently issued temporary orders barring Milestone Games Limited from using the “Sportpesa” trademark pending the hearing and determination of a petition before it challenging the alleged fraudulent allocation of the trademark to the firm.
While issuing the order, High Court Judge Dorah Chepkwony directed that Milestone Games Limited and Sportpesa Global Holdings Limited be restrained from using the trademark until the matter before the court is determined.
“That a temporary injunction be and is hereby issued restraining the 4th and 5th Defendants whether by themselves, their officers, agents, servants, proxies and/or any other person acting under direction, control or authority from using the trademark number 74874 under Class 41 known as “Sportpesa” pending the hearing and determination of this application,” she directed.
This follows the filing of a suit filed by Asenath Wachera Maina – a shareholder of Pevans East Africa Limited – which accuses former Sportpesa CEO, Ronald Karauri, and former Sportpesa company secretary, Robert Macharia, of “irregularly, fraudulently and unlawfully” assigning the trademark to both Milestone Games Limited and SportPesa Global Holdings Limited. Ronald is vying for the Kasarani MP’s seat as an independent candidate in the August 2022 general elections.
Asenath accuses the duo of assigning the SportPesa trademark to the two firms “without the approval of shareholders of PEVANS contrary to the express provisions of section 158 of the Companies Act No. 17 of 2015.” In a witness statement, she states that on June 2, 2020, Ronald Karauri Executed a deed of assignment which transferred the Sportpesa trademark from Pevans Limited to Sportpesa Global Holdings Limited (SGHL) at a fee of GBP 100,000 which was offset by amounts Pevans purportedly owed SGHL.
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