Robbing Kenyans For The Outside World? The Disconnect Between Sportpesa’s Kenyan Sponsorships And Outside

Southampton Chief Executive Officer Gareth Rogers (left) and Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri (2nd left) display Sportpesa logo. [IMAGE/ COURTESY]

Southampton Chief Executive Officer Gareth Rogers (left) and Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri (2nd left) display Sportpesa logo. [IMAGE/ COURTESY]
Sports betting firm Sportpesa and other online betting firms are spending a big chunk of their income outside the country as compared to local sporting action, Kahawa Tungu can authoritatively report.

Sportpesa which generates not less than Ksh3.9billion from Kenyan gamblers in just a month and Ksh46.8 billion per year gives back less than billion to Kenyan sporting action.

In the current sponsorship for Kenyan sporting action, the firm will part with Ksh682.4 million in a three-year deal. Gor Mahia will get Ksh198,607,000, AFC leopards Ksh156,406,403 and KPL Ksh259,712,000.

However, in a new deal which has become talk of the town, the firm will spend approximately Ksh3 billion in sponsoring Formulae One team Racing Point, formerly known as Force India.

This alone is more than four times the amount spent in Kenya in three years. This is despite having more than 95 percent of their revenue coming from Kenya.

In the English Premier League, Sportpesa has become a major sponsor for some teams, despite earning little or nothing from England.

Hull City alone received a total of Ksh1.3 billion, almost double the total sponsorship in Kenya’s sporting action.

The company also launched another deal with EPL outfit Southampton just a day after making Hull City’s announcement.

The firm also signed another deal with Arsenal. The deal, whose details remain scanty to date, was supposed to “boost Kenyan football”. However, Kahawa Tungu learns that the deal was supposed to benefit Arsenal more by opening the local market for its merchandise.

The club also announced a five-year deal with Everton FC, a deal that would see it replace Chang beer on the club’s jerseys. Also these European clubs do not take sponsorships worth millions of Kenyan shilling. All the sponsorships are worth billions, with Hull City’s believed to be the lowest.

Read: Full List Of Sportpesa Shareholders: Ronald Karauri Is Not The Biggest

The firm is also accused of listing teams it has sponsored for betting in contravention of betting rule. This means that owing to its sponsorship to the team, it can influence the outcome to defraud gamblers.

These are just but a few examples shoeing how deep the rot is.

Here are some reactions from Kenyans angered by the move.

Out of the ten known shareholders for Sportpesa, there are five Kenyan shareholders having a cumulative of 48% of the shares. There are three Bulgarians with 26% of the total shares and one American with 21% of shares. One company from England holds 5% of shares.

Here’s the full list of the shareholders:-

  1. Gene Grand (American) -21%
  2. Guerassim Nikolov (Bulgarian) – 21%
  3. Asenath Wacera Maina (Kenyan) – 21%
  4. Paul Wanderi Ndung’u (Kenyan) -17%
  5. Ronald Kamwiko Karauri (Kenyan) – 6%
  6. Cellini Holdings – 5%
  7. Valentina Nikolaeva (Bulgarian) – 3%
  8. Robert Kenn Wanyoike Macharia (Kenyan) – 3%
  9. Ivan Kalpakchiev (Bulgarian) – 2%
  10. Francis Waweru Kiarie (Kenyan) – 1%

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email

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