Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi
The High Court yesterday declined to suspend a decision by the Government to cancel betting licence of Nanovas International (K) Ltd company trading as BetPawa.
Justice Weldon Korir ruled that the court had not found any compelling reason to issue the conservatory orders before hearing all parties in the suit.
The firm had moved to court to suspend the decision by Betting Control and Licensing Board to cancel its operational license.
BetPawa is among the betting firms whose licences were cancelled for failing to renew operational permits.
It had sought orders to be allowed to continue utilising its pay bill numbers and short codes without any interference by the board.
Through lawyer Emmanuel Wetang’ula, the firm argued that the board’s action was carried out without any prior notification, involvement or their participation yet they stood to be directly and adversely affected by it.
According to the betting firm, the board’s action is procedurally unfair and unreasonable for making adverse decisions concerning them without offering any reasons for them.
Betpawa claims that the board, in a letter dated July 10, 2019, wrote to Safaricom Limited requesting for the suspension of their pay bill numbers and short codes for several companies.
The betting firm argued that prior to the said action, the board had written to the management on July 1 informing them that it had rejected their application for the renewal of bookmaker’s licence, ostensibly on the basis that there were pending investigations into its regulatory and licence compliance.
“In spite of the firm lodging its application for renewal of the licence and responding to the inquiries for further information in sufficient time before its expiry on June 30, 2019, the respondent awaited its expiry before communicating the rejection of the petitioner’s application,” stated the firm’s Business Manager Cynthia Onyango in an affidavit. The case will be heard on July 26.