December 5, 2020

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BCLB lifts Sportpesa suspension following court ruling

2 min read

The Betting Control and Licencing Board has lifted the suspension of Sportpesa, meaning that the betting firm is allowed to begin operations in Kenya.

BCLB Chair, Cyrus Maina lifted the suspension shortly after the High Court ruled that BCLB lifts the suspension as a case filed by Milestone Games is heard and determined. Milestone Games is the company that will operate the Sportpesa brand in Kenya.

Pevans East Africa Limited

Pevans East Africa Limited was the company that had previously carried the brand of Sportpesa. However, BCLB cancelled its licence, with the company then fading off from the Kenyan market.

However, Milestone would adopt the name Sportpesa after getting the go-ahead to operate in Kenya in October. That marked a comeback that was not to be, however.

Disputed use of Sportpesa brand

Within hours of announcing their return, BCLB suspended Milestone’s licence, stating that Pevans was the company that owed the Sportpesa brand and no other company could use it.

However, Milestone argued that Pevans East Africa Ltd did not own Sportpesa. Instead, Sportpesa belonged to Sportpesa Global Holdings Limited, which authorised Milestone to use the name.

“The applicant has further received confirmation that M/S Pevans East Africa Limited does not own the said trademark as alleged by the respondent from the letter,” part of the court papers read.

Among the first in Kenya’s betting scene

Sportpesa was among the first companies in Kenya to delve into the modern betting venture. The company was founded on 1st February 2014 in Kenya. However, it has grown into a global powerhouse, with its Headquarters now in Liverpool. It also has its presence in various sports across the world, including formula one sponsorship.

The betting firm had its Kenyan operating licence suspended several months back. This move was due to a tax dispute, with the company not on board with GoK’s move to add a tax to betting companies.

Source: BCLB lifts Sportpesa suspension following court ruling