PENDING COURT CASE

Confusion as government bars use of Sportpesa tradename

Milestone Games Ltd violated regulatory protocols by using Sportpesa trademark.

In Summary

• According to the licensing board, Milestone Games Limited violated regulatory protocols by using the Sportpesa trade mark 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.

SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri.
SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri.
Image: COURTESY

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has barred Milestone Games Limited from operating under the Sportpesa name in Kenya.

According to 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.

"We note that Milestone Games Limited has been authorized to use the trademark SportPesa by M/S Sportpesa Global Holdings Limited where else during the 2020/21 financial year renewal application the Board authorised the use of trading name Milestone Bets to yourselves,”  the Board’s Chairman Cyrus Maina said in the letter. 

Milestone Games Limited has now been prohibited from using various domains under Sportpesa including Pay bills and shortcodes.

The BCLB chair Maina said the tradename Sportpesa belongs to Pevans East Africa Limited, and therefore that name is not transferrable.

This is a blow to the betting company as it is barely 24 hours after it announced its return to the Kenyan market.

SportPesa CEO Ronald Kauri on Friday said the company will focus on upholding the highest standards of service and responsible gaming.

"SportPesa is back! I’m happy to announce that the SportPesa brand is back under a new BCLB license holder," Karauri tweeted.

 
 

The Sportpesa boss said as market leaders, the firm will focus on upholding the highest standards of service and responsible gaming.