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BCLB lifts suspension on SportPesa's operating license

SportPesa won a suit at the High Court

A poster announcing the return of SportPesa in Kenya

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has lifted the suspension of the operating licence for Milestone Games Limited, the outfit which now owns SportPesa.

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The turn-around comes after the High Court ruled in favour of Milestone in a suit where BCLB had sought to prevent the use of the SportPesa name and USSD codes.

High Court Justice Pauline Nyamweya ruled that there was neither conflict of interest nor confusion over the company which owns the rights to SportPesa.

"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,” BCLB chairman Cyrus Maina wrote to Milestone’s operations manager Bernard Chauro.

KRA versus SportPesa

Earlier in the week, frozen bank accounts were released after a separate ruling by Justice David Majanja.

The suit had been filed by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) accusing the betting company of failing to remit withholding tax as outlined by the law.

"The statutory right of KRA to move to the court ex-parte is accompanied by an implied duty on KRA to disclose to the court all material facts that have a bearing on the matter.

“This duty of candour is fundamental where a party approaches the court for ex-parte orders has been buttressed in a catena of decisions by our superior courts," the judge ruled.

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