SportPesa named Kenya’s most popular platform prior to sponsorship return

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A report by consumer research firm Nielsen has revealed SportPesa to be the most popular online betting platform in Kenya.

The study, entitled Understanding the East African Consumer, recorded that 82 percent of Kenyan gamblers subscribe to SportPesa. The report went on to show 40 percent of players are registered through Betin, 22 percent through Elitebet, with Betika and Mcheza each representing 12 percent of the population.

The February survey also recorded that 180 respondents subscribe to multiple betting sites. The report was published just as SportPesa announced it will return to Kenyan sports sponsorship, despite withdrawing $5.8m worth of funding in January of this year.

The decision followed a dispute with the Kenyan government, whose implementation of a 35 percent gambling revenue tax, up from 7.5 percent, in the same month caused CEO Ronald Karauri to announce SportPesa would need to enforce “drastic cuts on our expenses.”

However an April press release reported the company is now in “open dialogue” with the Football Kenya Federation to provide $800,000 worth of sponsorship per season, despite the dispute with the government remaining unresolved.

Karauri had addressed Kenya’s Treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich in March, requesting that SportPesa “be allowed to deduct as an expense all sponsorship amounts payable for the month that they are due at the time of calculating and remitting the monthly taxes.”

Though no public response was made by the Treasury, the move by SportPesa to reenter the sponsorship arena may demonstrate the company has made some official traction.

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