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SportPesa Return Dealt A blow, Just Hours After Resuming Operations

SportPesa’s return to gaming in Kenya has been put on hold. This comes just a few hours after the company’s CEO; Ronald Karauri announced the return of the popular gaming site through his social media profiles.

Now, Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) stopped Milestone Games Limited from operating under the Sportpesa gaming brand, dealing a blow to a company that has been out of business for 16 months. According to BCLB, the trade has been taken from Pevans East Africa Limited unduly.

Prohibited From Using SportPesa

According to a letter written to Milestone’s operations manager Bernard Chauro on Friday, to BCLB chairman Cyrus Maina says in part, “According to information in our possession, the tradename ‘Sportpesa’ belongs to M/s Pevans East Africa Limited. The said company has filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal in Nairobi no. 471 of 2019. The matter before the Court of Appeal contests the issuance of the gaming license to Pevans East Africa t/a Sportpesa. The matter is scheduled to be heard on November 16, 2020.”

“You are therefore prohibited from using the trade name ‘Sportpesa’, domains www.ke.sportpesa.com, www.sportpesa.co.ke, shortcodes 29050 and 79079, Pay Bill numbers 521521, 9555700 and 955700 until such a time when the Court of Appeal shall make a determination on the pending appeal and until the Board considers your request to use them.”

However, BCLB advised that Milestone is free to continue trading as “Milestone Bet”, through the domains www.milestonebet.co.ke, www.milestonegames.co.ke, and www.milestonegames.com.

The ban on the use of the SportPesa brand name and its infrastructure, BCLB said, was to avoid causing confusion to the public.

“The reason being that there is a variance in the trade name the board approved vis-à-vis the name Milestone Games Limited currently wishes to adopt,” BCLB noted.

SportPesa is Back

On Friday 30th November 2020, Karauri had announced the return of SportPesa on social media. He said, “We are relaunching our operations today, Friday, October 30. The people who have been asking about our return, we are back. I’m happy to announce that the SportPesa brand is back under a new BCLB license holder. As market leaders, SportPesa will focus on upholding the highest standards of service and responsible gaming. We look forward to working closely with BCLB and all other stakeholders. We are excited to explore a wide range of partnerships in Kenya over the coming weeks and months, which will prioritize the development of sports in communities across our great country!”

This new development does not only deal a blow to the company, but to millions of betting fans who had taken to social media to celebrate.

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