Gamblers today received a major blow after the Betting Control and Licensing Board withdrew the license of Sportpesa’s Milestone Games Ltd.
The decision was arrived at after BCLB said it conducted due diligence and found out the company changed the list of directors after being granted a licence for the year 2020-21.
The board said the list of directors submitted during the application was changed upon receiving a license.
According to the Betting Control and Licensing Board, the company changed the owners, directors, and shareholders after being licenced.
The board said by effecting its changes, the company breached the operating requirements and Section 5 of the Act by circumventing and evading due diligence and investigations that ought to have been conducted by Selenium Limited, Francis Waweru Kiarie, and Ronald Kamwiko Karauri.
Betting Control and Licensing Board suspends licence of Milestones Games Limited that trades as SportPesa dealing a big blow to the giant betting firm bid to re-enter the Kenyan market. pic.twitter.com/yOgqtCABCE
— Hot 96 FM Kenya (@Hot_96Kenya) December 4, 2020
Milestone had forwarded the names of Nob Five Limited (9,950 shares), and Wilson Ngatia Karungura (50 shares) during the application for a license.
By then the shareholders in Nob Five Limited were: John Munene Nderitu (250 shares), Jackline Nyambura Kungu (500 shares), and Joseph Muendo Mutua (250 shares)
The board said the shareholders were changed to Nob Five Limited, introducing Selenium Limited (9,600 shares) and changing Jackline Nyamburura Kungu’s shares to 400.
Further, Francis Waweru and Ronald Kamwaro Karauri were listed under Selenium Limited.
The board had directed the company on November 24 to show cause why its licence ought not to be verified, and the determination was reached on December 3 to cancel its operational licence.
The board held a meeting with Milestone representative on December 3 to deliberate on the changes of the shareholders, where the company admitted that there were changes.
The board was not satisfied with the explanations given as to why the changes were made after the issuance of the licence.
“Accordingly, and for the reasons stated here in above it is the decision of the Board that your company’s Bookmakers’ off-the-course licence number 0000205 dated October 6, 2020 be and hereby cancelled.”
Meanwhile, Milestone obtained an order barring BCLB from interfering with its operations.
High Court judge P.Nyamweya gave a directive that stays orders be followed until the court rules on the case on January 25, 2021.
In October, BCLB barred Milestone Games Limited from operating under the Sportpesa name in Kenya.
The licensing board, Milestone Games Limited violated regulatory protocols by using the Sportpesa trademark despite seeking approval from the agency as Milestone Bet.
In a letter addressed to Milestone Games Limited date October 30, the BCLB barred betting company Sportpesa from using that tradename pending a court case.
In the letter, the BCLB said that Milestone Games Limited had chosen to rebrand to Sportpesa after approval to operate in the country without getting consent from the betting control agency.