BCLB to ban Sportpesa permanently over constant management change at Milestone Games Ltd

 

Ronald Kamwiko Karauri CEO Sportpesa

Sportpesa is under siege after changing the management at Milestone games ltd.


Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) writes to Milestone Games Ltd Tuesday accusing it of acquiring its licence under one set of owners, only to later transfer its shareholding to another entity.


BCLB accuses Milestone Games Ltd of dodging due diligence requirements on betting company ownership.

BCLB threatens to withdraw Milestone Games license permanently. The court cleared Milestone last week to operate in Kenya using the SportPesa trade name.


BCLB says Milestone Games breached its licensing provision that dictates that before effecting any change of ownership of a company, it must notify the board in writing and seek authorisation or approval to that effect.


“The goal of the said approval is to enable the board to discharge its statutory mandate of carrying out due diligence on the proposed new owners, directors and/or shareholders under the Act,” reads part of the document by BCLB boss chairman Cyrus Maina written on November 24th.


 “It has come to the attention of the board that the shareholding in Milestones Games Limited as at October 22, 2020, when its bookmaker's licence was issued has since been changed in clear breach of the aforementioned operation requirements,” Maina added.


Mr Maina added that Milestone applied for the bookmaker’s licence, its shareholders were Nob Five Ltd (9,950 shares), and Wilson Ngatia Karungaru (50 shares).


At the time, Nob Five owners were John Munene Nderitu (250 shares), Jackeline Nyambura Kungu (500 shares), Joseph Muendo Mutua (250 shares).


In early October, the company director with whom BCLB agreed to work with was a nephew of a senior politician.



After numerous probes, BCLB revealed that the firm later changed ownership, directorship and shareholding of Milestone Games Ltd to bring on board one more company -Selenium Limited, which is owned by Ronald Kamwiko Karauri.


Mr Karauri is the CEO of SportPesa Holdings and holds shares in Pevans East Africa, and Francis Waweru Kiarie is another Pevans shareholder.


“The board views and analyses the above activities of your company directed to bypass the due diligence obligations and inquiries that the board conducts while considering applications,” the letter adds.


BCLB now requires Milestone to show the purpose in writing within seven days why its bookmakers off the course licence number 0000205 should not be varied or cancelled.


It also wants the firm and its directors of Nob Five Limited alongside Mr Karungaru to appear before it next Thursday at 11 am for deliberations on the same.

 

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