Embattled betting firm SportPesa has sent home all its 400 employees in the aftermath of its lost battle with the government over renewal of its license.
Even as the new development is coming through, another betting site Neptune Bet has come through and is focussing on the customer base SportPesa and Betin has left, Jambo Bet is slowly taking over Betin Shops across the country and another has come up with a super bonus and a cashout plan which endears it to the general public.
SportPesa Chief Executive Officer Ronald Karauri disclosed the decision to lay off all workers to staff members in a meeting called earlier on Wednesday.
The decision to fire the employees comes days after the firm announced the termination of its operations in Kenya in a move that marked an end to the long-drawn taxation battle with the government.
The betting firm which operates in Kenya as the Pevans East Africa Limited ran into trouble with the law alongside 27 others at the end of July as the Ministry of Interior moved to purge the gambling firms over outstanding tax arrears.
The tax in question related to the remittance of withheld customer winnings even as the firm joined rival Betin in protesting the claim in court before the quashing of the suit at the end of August.
Additionally, SportPesa has been in protest of the recently proposed tax on customer stakes by the National Treasury in amendments contained in the 2019 Finance Act which currently awaits presidential accent.
Nevertheless, SportPesa had held out for the renewal of license by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) following a nod from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on September 3.
Even so, the optimism seemingly fizzled out as the firm failed to garner backing from the BCLB in its license renewal application.
Likewise,rival- Betin ceased operations at the end of September, sending home all its staff.
Though the government wanted to reduce gambling activities in the country, BCLB has even licences to more than 40 new betting companies which are battling for the share of the Sh100 billion per year industry.
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