A new report by a global financial investigative magazine shows that Kenya’s giant betting company, SportPesa made a whopping $1 billion (Sh100 billion) in 2018.
The report by Finance Uncovered said that SportPesa made the billions in Kenya alone last year but this information was never made public, according to British publication The Guardian.
“Well-placed sources have told the investigative website Finance Uncovered that SportPesa made more than $1bn revenues last year in Kenya, but the company does not make its revenues or profits, in Africa or the UK, public,” The Guardian reported.
When contacted by The Guardian, a SportPesa spokesperson described the figure quoted by Finance Uncovered as “a very significant overstatement.” He added that “as is common with private companies, we have made a commercial decision not to publish our revenues in order to protect our competitiveness.”
SportPesa is among more than 20 gaming companies that recently had their licenses withdrawn by the government over allegations of failing to meet their tax obligations.
Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) said the bookmakers made a cumulative amount of Sh204 billion in 2018 but paid only Sh4 billion in taxes.
However, in a counterstatement, SportPesa said that it made Sh20 billion in 2018 and remitted Sh6 billion in taxes to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Other betting companies whose licenses were revoked include 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.