Court freezes new SportPesa licence amid shareholder row

The High Court has stopped the use of the SportPesa brand in Kenya’s gaming business amid shareholder fights in a ruling that deals a blow to Milestone Games Ltd that had been allowed to run the popular brand.

Justice Anthony Ndung’u issued the temporary order suspending the licence issued to Milestone Games last month by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) to use the SportPesa brand for the year to June 2023.

The freeze followed a petition from businesswoman Asenath Wachera Maina who has a 21 percent stake in Pevans East Africa that pioneered the sports gaming business in the country with the SportPesa brand.

Pevans East Africa ceased operations after losing its licence in 2019, partly due to allegations of non-payment of taxes that the Kenya Revenue Authority last computed at Sh95 billion.

The SportPesa brand returned on October 30, 2020, through Milestone Games, which is owned by some of the shareholders of Pevans, including Ronald Karauri, amid opposition from the regulator.


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