Betting firm SportPesa could be back to operation in Kenya, after the management recalled termination letters issued to employees early this month.
According to the CEO Ronald Karauri who spoke to the Star, the firm decided to withdraw the letters so that they can issue proper redundancy notices.
“We are basically been advised to issue proper and legal notices even as we wait for the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB)to act on our application,” Karauri said.
However, withdrawal could mean that the firm is expecting a positive feedback from BCLB, hence a comeback.
Early this month, Sportpesa sacked all its 400 employees in the aftermath of its lost battle with the government over renewal of its license.
In a statement, the firm said that it was leaving over hostile business environment imposed by the Kenyan government.
“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.”
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.