The government has given millions of sports’ gamblers in Kenya 48 hours to withdraw funds deposited in betting companies’ wallets or lose them.
This means gamblers have until Friday night to withdraw the cash following the directive issued on Thursday by the Ministry of Interior.
The ministry directed telecommunications companies to withdraw paybill numbers and SMS codes of 27 betting companies.
“This is to permit you to allow gamers of the subject firms to withdraw any funds they may have deposited in the material period within Forty-Eight (48) hours from the date hereof, and duly notify them of the same,” Interior Ministry said in a letter to Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya.
This is the latest move by the government aimed at taming betting in Kenya.
The decision comes after the government revoked licenses of several gaming companies for flouting regulations.
“The licenses of operators were not renewed for the period 1st July 2019 to June 30th, 2020,” the letter added.
The betting companies affected include Sportpesa, Betin, Lucky 2 U, Asian Betting and Gaming Ltd, Kick Off Sports Bar Ltd, Mozzarbet Kenya Ltd, Atari Gaming Ltd, Millionaire Sports Bet Ltd, Premier Betting Ltd, Advanced Innovation Ltd, Sekunde Technologies among others.
The companies allegedly failed to prove that they were tax compliant as required by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).
It was established that the companies made a cumulative amount of Sh204 billion in 2018 but paid only Sh4 billion in taxes.