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Sportpesa shuts down operations in Kenya

Regretfully, SportPesa has decided to halt operations in Kenya.

File image of SportPesa Chief Executive Officer Ronald Karauri (left) flanked by Kirimi Kaberia

Sportpesa, Kenya's largest sports gaming firm, has announced plans to exit the Kenyan market, citing hostile regulations.

The decision to halt its operations in Kenya comes after months of protracted legal battle with state agencies that saw the firm lose its bid to halt taxation.

The firm revealed that it would only resume operations after "adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment” is put in place.

“Greetings! Regretfully, SportPesa has decided to halt operations in Kenya due to the decision by the Kenyan legislature to impose a 20% excise tax on all betting stakes. Thank you for the support,” part of the statement read.

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The firm had expressed disappointment in recent days, noting that "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.

It added; "Until such time that adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment is returned, the SportPesa brand will halt operations in Kenya."

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