Leading betting company, SportPesa, has cancelled all the sponsorship arrangements it has with Kenyan sports teams.
The gaming firm, which controls a bulk of the Kenyan betting population, says “extremely challenging business environment for the past couple of months, has brought immense pressure on the business, necessitating a reevaluation of some plans”.
“In light of these developments, we regrettably wish to announce that due to uncertainty of this situation, SportPesa will be cancelling sports sponsorship effective immediately,” says the firm in a press statement released Friday, August 9.
Sportpesa is among the 27 betting firms in Kenya whose operating licenses were not renewed by July 1 over claims of tax non-compliance.
In Kenya, SportPesa sponsors, among other teams, local football champions Gor Mahia and their bitter rivals AFC Leopards.
The firm also sponsors local men’s football league, the Kenya Premier League, among other gaming activities.
In April this year, Sportpesa renewed its sponsorship of Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.
“Our dedication and commitment to the development of sports in Kenya continues. We are proud to announce our return to local sponsorships with these key football industry players.” said Sportpesa in their social media pages.
KFF, according to SportPesa in April this year, was allocated Ksh69 million in a sponsorship deal.
The KPL received Ksh259 million, whereas Gor Mahia received Ksh198 million.
AFC Leopards, on the other hand, bagged Ksh159 million as part of the sponsorship arrangement.
SportPesa began supporting the local football teams, among other sporting activities, in 2016.
“For now, we remain positive that the current situation will be resolved amicably and urgently, and we continue to seek the goodwill of all actors towards normalising the environment for the gaming industry,” says SportPesa in its statement.