SportPesa Officially Back in Kenya, Resumes Sportsbook

Leading sports betting operator SportPesa has made an official return in Kenya after a year since it left the country in October, 2019.  

Update (31/10/20): The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has suspended Milestone Games Limited’s right to use the ‘SportPesa’ trademark – read more details here.

SportPesa Is officially Back in Kenya

Sports bettors in Kenya have much to be happy about as SportPesa has just announced that it is resuming operations in the country following a 12-month beef with the government and a tax ruling that forced it to suspend operations in the first place.

The last time we heard about SportPesa was when a rumor swirled that the Liverpool-headquartered sports betting operator might be considering a return, but nothing in the legal landscape suggested as much.

In an official message shared on Twitter less than an hour ago, Sportpesa said that it was delighted to resume operations in Kenya, and thanked fans for their continuous support:

“We are pleased to once again offer gaming services to our customers. Over the coming months, we are excited to explore a wide range of new partnerships in the country. Thank you for your support.”

Sportpesa has long been touted as the best betting sites in the country and has built a loyal following in Kenya.

Why the Breakup?

The bad break-up with the Kenyan government started when SportPesa, a company that has shareholders from Kenya, Bulgaria, and the USA, decided to withdraw from the market because of a stringent new tax that wanted to tax gambling gross receipts by 20% instead of taxing operators’ winnings.

SportPesa finally discontinued operations in October 2019 and released 453 employees. Prior to this event, the sportsbook had taken its case to the Tax Appeals Tribunal in Nairobi, and hoped to obtain a favorable ruling alongside other disgruntled operators, including competitor Betin.

Shortly after, the Tribunal ruled in favor of the operators, deciding that any taxation should only apply to winnings rather than the overall gross revenue. Winning the Tax Appeals Tribunal was an important step forward for SportPesa, but the company faced a new challenge.

Litigation Cuts Both Ways

The Betting Control and Licensing Board, the national gambling regulator in Kenya, had suspended SportPesa’s license back on July 1, 2019, claiming that SportPesa owed millions in unpaid tax. Payment options were also suspended.

SportPesa lost an appeal against the Nairobi High Court arguing against the BCLB’s decision.

It seemed incredible that SportPesa had managed to defeat the government on the most controversial law the sports betting industry had seen but failed to successfully argue its case against the back taxes.

As to the present return of the company, there have been no official details on why, how, and what SportPesa has negotiated with the government and the regulator.

Commenting on the return, SportPesa CEO Captain Ronald Karauri said that the company was excited to be back in Kenya and was looking forward to working with the regulator.

He specifically had this to say: “As market leaders, SportPesa will focus on upholding the highest standards of service and responsible gaming. We look forward to working closely with BCLB and all other stakeholders,”cited by Nairobi News, a media outlet.

Regardless, Kenyan sports bettors are thrilled to have it back.

63 Comments

  • Nyakinda Ogeta
    October 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Are you really back in kenya where is your pay bill number?

    • erastus m
      October 31, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      Sportpesa highly payed games

  • Lee
    October 30, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    App not working properly

  • irene wambui kamau
    October 30, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    wow great

  • Benjamin makokha
    October 30, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Very wonderful. At last God has answered our prayers. ✔️✔️👍👍

    • john ndungu
      October 31, 2020 at 7:53 am

      Every day, every human being has the right to choose His/Her destination.Thank you Benjamin, your words mean quite right.thanks again Sir.

  • Benjamin makokha
    October 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Very nice. How to join please. Pay bill please. Your app please.

    • Cleophas simiyu
      November 2, 2020 at 5:07 am

      Your new AFC can’t respond why?

  • Christopher matinde
    October 30, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Welcome sportpesaaa,,,hoping for winnings💪💪💪💪

  • murumba
    October 30, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    am very glad tohear sportpesa is back in kenya you are my best

  • Bundi
    October 30, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    If the information is live, also work on the app for proper and reliable functioning.

  • james too
    October 30, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    sportpesa my choice …!upgrade ua app

  • calvin
    October 31, 2020 at 1:48 am

    come baby come

  • Michael Syengo
    October 31, 2020 at 3:58 am

    We really appreciate for your concern as a gambling platform…. As from now am going to send this notification to all my my WhatsApp groups…. #sportpesatheprideofkenyans

    • Emmah
      November 7, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      It’s not yet functioning

    • SHAURI
      November 11, 2020 at 10:43 am

      No paybill,app not functioning why?

  • Daniel tajewuo
    October 31, 2020 at 4:34 am

    Am very happy to see sportpesa again how rigester

    • Maiyo
      November 9, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      Pay bill not working pliz

  • kelvin
    October 31, 2020 at 5:02 am

    thanks sportpesa

  • ROONEY KIRUI
    October 31, 2020 at 5:14 am

    we are glad to you to be back, and why is not able to register know?

  • David
    October 31, 2020 at 5:43 am

    It will be better and more winning than bet

    • Emmah
      November 7, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      It’s not yet functioning

  • Wilkister nyandusa
    October 31, 2020 at 6:13 am

    Welcome back sportpesa…. Waiting for a winning

  • Amos
    October 31, 2020 at 6:39 am

    Am I betting this weekend or not

  • Ephraim junior
    October 31, 2020 at 7:11 am

    wow!great! God has answer our prayers

  • Benards
    October 31, 2020 at 7:31 am

    I am really happy for sportpesa to be back to kenya

  • FIDELIS MUTINDA MUSEMBI
    October 31, 2020 at 7:39 am

    My site is back.

  • Robert
    October 31, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Welcome back the sportpesa , happy to hear your comeback

  • James kiveu
    October 31, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Happy for resumption of sportpesa in kenya

  • Precious Lab
    October 31, 2020 at 10:10 am

    welcome……………………………………….. back…….. whaoooooooo but dont cheat we need your ay bill no.

  • Benson
    October 31, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Uhuhuu I missed my money so much come on sportpesa welcome back

  • Senator
    October 31, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Welcome back after along holiday,while you getting you were away,we had never won good money and had trust on the remaining betting site you left behind.welcome back and bring more JACKPOT BONUSES.

  • Ken odeka
    October 31, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Am now happy to hear the return of sportpesa fraternity,i stopped betting immediately sportpesa withdraw,now kenya is happy.Welcome.

  • Willis obdolo
    October 31, 2020 at 11:45 am

    When will you start operations?waiting that pay bill number……..

  • Benson Murimi
    October 31, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    It’s not working properly

  • Ndellah
    October 31, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Welcom back

  • Vincent Emeje
    October 31, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Welcome back to Kenya real gambling platform

  • Yusuf murunga
    October 31, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Wellcome

  • Alex Oyugi Osoro
    October 31, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    Very happy to see you back betting giants,you are the best

  • Stephen Akeno
    October 31, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    I’m very glad with the CEO of Sport Pesa for thorough Consultant to resume their websitesite in Kenya.. great job to all Kenyan an the Funs of the Spirt Pesa.. congrats..💅💅

  • Emanuel
    October 31, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Am glad to hear that sportpesa back to Kenya

  • Sarah Monyangi
    November 1, 2020 at 4:29 am

    Am happily with Sportpesa. Want to bet but its not available, what can I do?

  • Juma contrad
    November 1, 2020 at 4:47 am

    Deposits is a problem online or through playbill since yesterday Saturday night

  • Sue
    November 1, 2020 at 5:04 am

    Kenya has no job at least God has seen us

  • Lorsh Nana
    November 1, 2020 at 5:12 am

    Wow, good news indeed!

  • Joseph kamau
    November 1, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Am very very happy to hear that sportpesa is back and operating well keep it up guys cheers

  • Charles Ogola
    November 1, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    What is the Pay bill no

  • Dominic
    November 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    i have been waiting for best gambling site.welcome back

  • Kenneth
    November 1, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    I can’t withdraw my winnings sportpesa..are you back for real or it’s scam coz I have placed a bet with you and iwon but I try to withdraw with no success

  • Rolo
    November 1, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    It’s good to have sportpesa back

  • Dickson
    November 2, 2020 at 2:47 am

    well come

  • Penninah Kasau
    November 2, 2020 at 4:31 am

    That’s great

  • Mung'ai Benson
    November 2, 2020 at 6:06 am

    Welcome back, when are you resuming the operations?

  • Fred
    November 2, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks for coming back.You have rescued us .The paybill is not working .You cannot deposit cash.Work on that guys

  • Phelix
    November 6, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Am missing you hoo

  • kaan
    November 6, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    I don’t think you guys are back, there is no pay bills no withdrawals how can we place our bets.

  • Rutto
    November 11, 2020 at 5:10 am

    Iam happy to sportpesa come back to kenye because it is good campaney

  • Kate
    November 17, 2020 at 8:18 am

    What about the money we deposited

  • Jlingz steve
    November 17, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Please comeback my money is there in the account

  • Mwas
    November 18, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Oh gosh my money is back

  • James Aswani
    November 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    People are angrly waiting for ur resume.u said that u are back,but ur pay bill is not working.am tired of ukora ya Odibet.Pliz come back and then resume.

  • James Aswani
    November 22, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    Thank u dear sportpesa am hapy

  • Sanduku Geoffrey Wafula
    November 24, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    When a you really in action. Am really waiting to place.

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