SPORTS FUNDING

SportPesa to renew sponsorship with local clubs after resuming operations

Betting firm to restart sponsorship of all its previous agreements.

In Summary

• SportPesa is among 27 betting firms whose licenses were revoked on grounds of tax evasion.

• In August, the betting firm announced it had cancelled its partnership deals with sports entities citing unbearable business environment.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri poses for a photograph with officials of Kenyan football clubs after the signing of new partnership deals, April 23, 2018.
Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri poses for a photograph with officials of Kenyan football clubs after the signing of new partnership deals, April 23, 2018.
Image: SPORTPESA

SportPesa has refuted claims it intends to cut down on the sponsorship of local sports club once they resume operations.

The firm told the Star that contrary to reports in the media alleging that it will only support a few clubs on a need basis, it remains committed to sports development and aims to restart full sponsorship of its all previous agreements.

Head of Communication Jean Kiarie said SportPesa’s immediate priority is to be cleared by the Betting Control and Licensing Board to renew its license to allow them resume full operations.

“We will review the business position pursuant to this and determine the areas of sponsorships that we will be able to support. We remain committed to sports development in the country and we will aim to restart sponsorship of all our previous agreements, to the best of our ability,” she said.

Business Daily had reported that the firm which has been a direct sponsor of the Kenyan Premier League was planning to cut the sponsorship following a tussle with the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Sportpesa is among 27 betting firms whose licenses were revoked on grounds of tax evasion.

It is said the firm spends Sh96 million annually on direct sponsorship of KPL and Sh55 million on AFC Leopards while Gor Mahia gets Sh65 million.

In August, the betting firm announced it had cancelled its partnership deals with sports entities citing unbearable business environment.

Before cancellation of their license, KRA demanded some Sh8.59 billion from Safaricom as withholding tax arrears due from the firm.

But Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri last week issued a statement assuring its clients that all pending issues had been settled and a deal reached.

 

He said the firm had been cleared by KRA and applied a new license waiting approval by the BCLB.


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