Giant gaming firm Sportpesa has been dealt a blow barely 24 hours after announcing a comeback after The Betting Control and Licensing Board suspended its licence over an alleged violation of regulatory protocols.
The operating licence of Milestones Games Limited was suspended on grounds that the company intended to use Sportpesa as its trade name without following the necessary protocol.
According to BCLB chairman Cyrus Maina, the company unscrupulously obtained the go-ahead to relaunch, hence the suspension of their license.
We have since established that while the BCLB approved the betting company Milestone Games Limited to operate in the country, the company took it upon themselves to rebrand to Sportpesa without necessarily getting the go ahead from the licensing board.
“We note that Milestone Games Limited has been authorised to use the trademark Sportpesa by Sportpesa Global Holdings Limited, whereas during the 2020/2021 Financial Year renewal application, the Board authorised the use of trading name Milestone Bet to yourselves,” a letter from the BCLB chair dated Friday, October 30 reads.
In the same letter, the BCLB prohibits Milestone Games from using paybill numbers, short codes and domains previously being used by Sportpesa, which suspended operations in July 2019.
“You (Milestone Games Limited) are therefore prohibited from using the tradename Sportpesa, the domains www.ke.sportpesa.com, www.sportpesa.co.ke, short codes 29050 and 79079, Pay Bill numbers 521521, 9555700 and 955700 until such a time when the Court of Appeal shall make a determination on the pending appeal and until the Board considers your request to use them. However, you are authorised to continue trading as Milestone Bet, through the domains www.milestonebet.co.ke, www.milestonegames.co.ke, and www.milestonegames.com,” the letter went on.”
The Betting Control and Licensing Board suspends the license of Milestone Gaming Limited which was to operate as Sportpesa. CAK and Safaricom ordered to suspend paybill number pic.twitter.com/R1vvp2JaxE
— JOHNNY GACHANJA (@JohnnyGachanja) October 31, 2020
The Communications Authority of Kenya and Safaricom have since been ordered to suspend Sportpesa’s paybill numbers 955700 and 9555700 until the matter is resolved in court to determine whether Milestone Games will be allowed to use the name.
This new development came barely hours after Ronald Karauri enthusiastically announced the return of the gaming firm Sportpesa after 16 months out of the game.