Gambling firm Sportpesa with high profile political and business connections made more than Sh130 billion from Kenya alone last year.
Well placed sources told the UK Investigative portal Finance Uncovered that the company’s expansion into the UK including new offices in Liverpool where Everton is also based was funded by revenues from Kenya and the rest of Africa.
The partnership of the wealthy and politically influential is said to have had a hand in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to scrap the 35 percent taxation proposal for gambling companies.
Sportpesa does not publish its financial accounts since it is not a public company.
Gambling companies in Kenya are on the spot for ruining the lives of many young people who are addicted and are losing their money daily. Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said Sh200 billion was gambled away in Kenya last year.
The average amount spent on bets per person is about Sh5,000 per month, according to a study by research firm Geopoll. A majority have never won any amount above Sh5,000.
They are said to have financed Jubilee Party’s campaigns.
Fending off media reports, the company’s UK spokesperson said the revenues reported were a significant overstatement.
Kenya has the highest number of betting youth, according to GeoPoll rapid survey carried out among youth between the ages of
17-35 in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.
The company among others have been a subject of concern by countries both abroad and in Africa. “We have gambling companies licensed in the UK and sponsoring football players in the UK, yet operating entirely abroad, behaving irresponsibly in countries like Kenya,” a UK MP said in Parliament earlier this month.
The company is battling to manage its public image as accusations mount in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, UK and many other nations.
Gene Grand (American) -21%
Guerassim Nikolov (Bulgarian) – 21%
Asenath Wacera Maina (Kenyan) – 21%
Paul Wanderi Ndung’u (Kenyan) -17%
Ronald Kamwiko Karauri (Kenyan) – 6%
Cellini Holdings – 5%
Valentina Nikolaeva (Bulgarian) – 3%
Robert Kenn Wanyoike Macharia (Kenyan) – 3%
Ivan Kalpakchiev (Bulgarian) – 2%
Francis Waweru Kiarie (Kenyan) – 1%