Sports Betting company Sportpesa has resumed operations in Kenya.
The company left the Kenyan market a year ago, and was the biggest in the industry at that time.
“SportPesa is delighted to resume operations in Kenya. We are pleased to once again offer gaming services to our customers. Over the coming months, we are excited to explore a wide range of new partnerships in the country,” the company said in a statement.
The company left Kenya over over what it termed as 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.
Four months ago, the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning agreed to remove the excise duty on betting.
This could be the reason behind Sportpesa’s comeback.