400 Sportpesa Employees Sacked As Gamble With KRA Fails

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Betting firm Sportpesa has sacked all its 400 employees in the aftermath of its lost battle with the government over renewal of its license.

This followed a meeting of CEO Ronald Karauri with the employees on Wednesday.

This comes days after the firm announced that it is leaving the Kenyan market.

In a statement, the firm said that it was leaving over hostile business environment imposed by the Kenyan government.

Read: Here’s Why Sportpesa Has Left Kenyan Market

“Sportpesa is disappointed with the decision by the Kenyan legislature to impose a 20% excise tax on all betting stakes. The tax is based on a fundamental misunderstanding by the Rotich led treasury of how revenue generation works in the bookmaker industry,” read the statement in part.

“Until such time that adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment is returned, the SportPesa brand will halt operations in Kenya.”

Read: KCB Takes Over Mumias Sugar Company, Places It Under Receivership

The firm said compounded by the currently in-effect 20 per cent Withholding Tax on Winnings, the economic incentive to place bets will be completely removed as the taxes will deprive consumers of their total winnings.

“This will have severe consequences for licensed betting companies, which dutifully pay their taxes and ultimately will lead to a decline in government tax revenue to near zero and will halt all investments in sports in Kenya,” the firm said.

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