Kenya gambling regulator blocks SportPesa betting site’s return

Kenyan sports betting operator SportPesa’s triumphant return to its home market has been rudely disrupted by the local gambling regulator.

On Friday, SportPesa’s official social media feeds enthusiastically proclaimed that the company was once again free to accept Kenyan bettors’ action thanks to the transfer of its brand name to a new locally licensed bookmaker, Milestone Games Ltd, about which precious little is known.

The excitement didn’t last long, as Kenyan media reported Saturday that Cyrus Maina, chairman of Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), had written a letter to Milestone operations manager Bernard Chauro on Friday prohibiting Milestone from using the SportPesa brand.

Maina told Chauro that there was “a variance in the trade name the board approved vis-à-vis the name Milestone Games Limited currently wishes to adopt.” Maina noted that Milestone had been granted authority to use the SportPesa brand by Sportpesa Global Holdings.