Kenya’s giant betting firm SportPesa has announced that it will withdraw all sponsorship meant for clubs and federations starting January 1, 2018.
According to SportPesa CEO Ronaldo Karauri, the firm’s cost of doing business will be affected by the new betting bill, which comes into effect in January 2018.
“With the new bill taking effect on January 1, 2018, as a company will be greatly affected hence we have to consider the impact on operating besides partnerships”, Karauri tweeted.
The Betting, Lotteries and Gambling Act
The Finance Bill (2017), which was signed into law by president Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday, amended The Betting, Lotteries and Gambling Act to increase the tax rates to 35 per cent.
Treasury has initially proposed a 50 per cent tax on betting firms, which was shot down by the national assembly, arguing that the rate was punitive and likely to kill the sector.
The betting firm is said to have pumped in an estimated Sh1 billion to Kenya’s sports industry through their various partnerships with Football Kenya Federation, Kenya Rugby Union, Kenyan Premier League, AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia, Nakuru All Stars and the Kenya Boxing Association.
Recently, SportPesa ventured into Tanzania where they sponsored Yanga, Simba and Singida United.
Sportpesa Shirt Sponsors of Hull City And Everton
The firm has also sponsored international clubs like hull city and Everton. Though the value of Everton’s new shirt sponsorship deal with SportPesa signed in May this year was not disclosed, it’s said to be the biggest in the club’s history.