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SportPesa Wins;Safaricom ordered to reopen pay bill numbers

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Milestone Game Limited has won against the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) decision to ban the company on using the SportPesa brand.

An online ruling issued by , Lady Justice Pauline Nyamweya ordered Safaricom to reopen the firms paybill numbers and the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to reactivate the company’s website.

“The ex parte Applicant is granted leave to apply for an order of Certiorari to move into this Court for purposes of being quashed, a decision of the Respondent to prohibit the Applicant from using the name ‘Sportpesa’, domain www.ke.sportpesa.com, www.sportpesa.co.ke, short codes 29050 and 79079, Pay Bill numbers 521521, 9555700 and 955700 communicated in its letter referenced BCLB 11/152 VOL.I (9) addressed to the Ex Parte Applicant and dated 30th October 2020,” part of the orders read.

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“The ex parte Applicant is granted leave to apply for an order of Certiorari to move into this Court for purposes of being quashed, a decision of the Respondent contained in the letter dated 31st October 2020 Ref No. BCLB 11/152 VOL.I (14) indefinitely and unilaterally suspending the lawfully issued license to the Ex Parte Applicant,” Lady Justice Nyamweya ordered.

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“The ex parte Applicant is granted leave to apply for an order of Prohibition to prohibit the implementation of the decision of the Respondent barring the Applicant from using the name Ruling- NRB. H.C. J.R App. No.MISC. E061 of 2020 16112020 Page 8 ‘Sportpesa’, domain www.ke.sportpesa.com, www.sportpesa.co.ke, short codes 29050 and 79079, Pay Bill numbers 521521, 9555700 and 955700 communicated in its letter referenced BCLB 11/152 VOL.I (9), dated 30th October 2020.”

The order comes after the BCLB on October 31 suspended the operating license of Milestones Games Limited for using SportPesa as its trade name.

The Board’s Chairman Cyrus Maina revealed that Milestones Games Limited violated regulatory protocols and has no right to utilize the various domains, Paybills and short codes used by SportPesa.

Maina noted that according to records in their possession, the trade name SportPesa belongs to M/S Pevans East Africa Limited which had filed a case in court challenging their closure to operate in the country following their non-compliance in adhering to the punitive tax measures which were introduced by the government in 2019.

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