Betting firm Sportpesa has allayed fears that it will also end it’s sponsorship deal with English Premier League Side Everton FC.
This comes just a day after the betting firm fired all it’s 400 employees that oversaw operations in the Kenyan Market.
On 28th September 2018, Sportpesa closed shop in Kenya citing hostile working conditions brought its way by the Government through the Kenya Revenue Authority, KRA and the Betting Control and Licensing board.
Sportpesa has now revealed that it will not withdraw it’s sponsorship of EPL Side Everton despite winding up operations in Kenya which happened to be it’s biggest market.
The Robert Karauri led firm is now left with 5 markets across the world. They are: The United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, Tanzania and the Isle of Man.
The Company has also confirmed that contrary to what happened in Kenya, it will not fire it’s 80 employees based at the Liver building in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
A spokesperson for SportPesa told Liverpool Echo that SportPesa’s decision to shut down operations in Kenya was caused the government’s decision to frustrate it’s operations.
“We regret that government’s action against the sector as a whole may lead to a large decline in Kenyan tax revenue and will halt all investment in sports in Kenya.
“SportPesa’s global operations, sponsorship and partnership programmes, including in the UK, are not impacted by our decision to exit the Kenyan market. It therefore remains business as usual for SportPesa in Liverpool.
“We remain a committed sponsor of Everton Football Club and a proud partner to the club’s charity, Everton in the Community,” said the betting firm’s rep, who wasn’t identified by the Echo.
Sportpesa entered into a partnership with Everton in May 2017 in a deal that is regarded as the most lucrative ever in the club’s history.
We’re pleased to have secured the biggest commercial partnership deal in the Club’s history with an ambitious and growing, global company,” Said Everton Chief Executive Officer Robert Elstone back then.
Various reports show that SportPesa parts with Ksh1.3 billion a year for the shirt sponsorship agreement with the EPL side.
Sportpesa’s latest revelation comes over a month after the betting firm decided to cancel it’s sponsorship of a number of Sports entities in Kenya including the Kenya Premier League and KPL giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.
It is said the firm spent Sh96 million annually on direct sponsorship of KPL and Sh55 million on AFC Leopards while Gor Mahia gets Sh65 million.
The firm has been protesting the Kenyan government’s decison to impose a 20% tax on all betting stakes.
“Until such time that adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment is returned, the SportPesa brand will halt operations in Kenya,” Read Part of a statement by Sportpesa as it announced shutdown of the Kenyan Market.