SportPesa suspended again

The Betting Control and Licensing Board has once again suspended the operations of former Kenyan Premier League (KPL) sponsor SportPesa.

The gaming firm had just started trading after announcing its return on Friday, but the latest government move will see its services cease from operations.

The board has claimed Milestone Games Limited, which had started using the SportPesa domains, had been registered separately and thus the use of the banned company’s platform must stop forthwith.`

“We note that Milestone Games Limited has been authorised to use the trademark ‘SportPesa’ by M/s SportPesa Global Holdings Limited whereas, during the 2020/21 financial year renewal application, the board authorised the use of the trading name ‘Milestone Bet’ to yourselves,” a statement obtained by Goal from the licensing board read.

“According to the information in our possession, the trademark ‘SportPesa’ belongs to Pevans East Africa Limited. The said company has filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal Nairobi no; 471 of 2019.

“The matter before the Court of Appeal contests the issuance of the gaming license to Pevans East Africa trademark SportPesa. The matter is scheduled to be heard on November 16, 2020.”

Apart from using the SportPesa domains without government approval, the board has further claimed the activation of the SportPesa online services will result in public confusion.

“In light of the foregoing, the board is of the opinion that Milestone Games Limited will create confusion to the general public to which trade name the company wishes to adopt,” it added.

“The reason being that there is a variance in the trade name the board approved vis-à-vis the name Milestone Games Limited currently wishes to adopt.

“You are therefore prohibited from using the trade name ‘SportPesa’ and its domains, shortcodes 29050, 79079, Pay Bill numbers 521521, 9555700 and 955700 until such a time the Court of Appeal shall make the determination on the pending appeal and until the board considers your request to use them.

“However, you are authorised to continue trading as ‘Milestone Bet’ through the domains provided.”Article continues below

Before exiting the Kenyan market, SportPesa sponsored the two big teams and local arch-rivals AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia as well as the league itself.

Their exit threw clubs into prolonged financial turmoil in the 2019/20 season and Sony Sugar ended up being relegated after giving out three walkovers.


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