No more gambling: Telcos suspend Paybill as Sportpesa vow to challenge BCLB in court

Sports Betting
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The recent government move to crackdown betting and gambling firms in the country dealt many a surprise with majority of the gamblers and betting firms taking it in disbelief.

But things have turned out to be true after a directive was issued to leading telecommunication Companies to have sms short codes and pay bill numbers of the betting firms suspended.

However Safaricom, one of the leading telcos, pleaded with the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB)to give gamblers enough time to withdraw their money from their betting wallet.

The board gave an ultimatum of 48-hours to any gambler holding money in any of the fore mentioned firms, which according to Nation report, the paybill numbers were active until mid night.

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But today, it came to the attention of News 9 Kenya that Safaricom has already shut down the paybill umber of sportpesa, a leading betting firm in the country.

"Failed. Dear Customer, this Paybill is unavailable due to the Government directive to suspend Betting Paybill numbers. Kindly contact your Betting Company."

This is the message News 9 Sports desk received at 12:09 PM when trying to deposit money to Sportpesa betting wallet via Safaricom Paybill 957100.

Tax compliant

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According Safaricom, about 12 million gambling subscribers have been affected by this move, with an estimate of over hundreds of millions of shilling thought to be lost in the crackdown.

In a statement released today, Sportpesa claim that they have been tax compliant and will move to court and challenge the decision by BCLB.

Official Statement from Sportpesa

The company also urged its customers and stakeholders to remain calm and wait for official communication on the matter.

It also warned that the economy of the country will be affected by the move if it considers withdrawing major sponsorships it has in the country.

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