SportPesa says Betting Board is malicious after services shut down
SportPesa has termed a directive to telcos to withdraw its pay bill numbers as illegal, abrupt, malicious and prejudicial.
The company expressed disappointment accusing the Betting Control and Licensing Board of trying to ‘discourage’ Kenyans and ‘disrupt’ business.
“SportPesa is highly disappointed by the recent BCLB’s illegal action to block our short codes for deposit and withdrawal despite the High Court order. ,” a statement from SportPesa reads.
The Ronald Karauri-led company insists that they have complied with tax and legal requirements and according to them, even boosted sports events in the country.
SportPesa further argues that the move could ‘drive the business underground and have far reaching consequences on the social and economic agenda of this country.
On Thursday, BCLB ordered Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya to withdraw pay bill numbers and SMS codes of 27 betting companies among them SportPesa, Betin and Betway.
Users were on Friday unable to access their accounts only. Some of them took screen shots of the messages they received after unsuccessfully trying to perform transactions.
“Failed. Dear customer, this Paybill is unavailable due to the Government directive to suspend Betting Paybill Numbers. Kindly contact your Betting Company……………..nifanye aje?”one user asked on Twitter.
SportPesa and Betin are some of the betting companies that have taken to social media to address the issue.
Betin has always been a law abiding company and has conducted its business as per the government and regulatory requirements.
Betin will continue to address this with matter with industry stakeholders, the regulators and the government.
— Betin (@BetinKenya) July 12, 2019
We are working tirelessly to restore normal operations very soon and we thank you for your patience and support. _BA
— SportPesa (@SportPesa) July 12, 2019
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