It is now impossible for you to send money to your SportPesa account using the Paybill number 955100.
Telecommunications company Safaricom says it has deactivated the use of the Paybill number in a bid to comply with the Government’s directive ordering the mobile services firm and others in the industry – Telkom and Airtel – to withdraw the betting Paybill numbers of 27 gambling firms, whose licenses are yet to be renewed.
One of our writer’s attempts to send money to his SportPesa account via his Safaricom line yielded this reply: “Failed. Dear Customer, this Paybill is unavailable due to the Government directive to suspend Betting Paybill numbers. Kindly contact your Betting Company.”
The implementation of the order to shut Sportpesa, Betin, 1XBet, Betway, among other firms, from operation comes just a day after the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) gave Kenyan gamblers a period of two days to withdraw all their money from all the betting firms that have been listed for closure.
A Thursday statement from the BCLB gave a 48-hour window for gamblers to withdraw their cash from their accounts.
“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 hours from the date hereof and duly notify them of the same, quoting this letter as authority,” the statement from BCLB’s acting director, Liti Wambua, dated July 11, 2019 read in part.
As of Friday, July 12, withdrawal of money from SportPesa accounts was still possible, our spot-check showed.
SportPesa’s text code, 79079, was also still active to facilitate communication of withdrawals between the betting firm and its subscribers.
Among the conditions that the suspended 27 betting firms must meet before having their licences renewed is to be tax-compliant.
They were also expected to prove that they had been operating within the law.
The companies are also expected to prove they are sufficiently liquid, and have performed well, financially, in the last four years.
Besides SportPesa, Betin, Betway and 1xBet, other firms whose licences have not been renewed, or which have been told to fulfill certain conditions in order to be allowed to operate are: Betpawa, Premierbet, Lucky 2 U, Mozzartbet, Dafa bet, World Sport Bet, Atari Gaming, Palmsbet, Betboss, Betyetu, Bungabet, Cysabet, Elitebet, Nestbet, Easybet, Millionaire Sports Bet, Kick Off, Kenya Sports Bet and Eastleighbet.
All betting companies were supposed to renew their operating licenses by July 1.