Another setback for SportPesa as Everton terminates partnership

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SportPesa has suffered another setback after English Premier League side Everton announced plans to terminate the partnership.

“Everton Football Club will end its partnership agreement with SportPesa at the end of the current season,”  reads a statement in the club’s portal.

Everton has been SportPesa’s prime partner since 2017. The club has also revealed that the company has agreed to the termination of the contract.

“The agreement has been reached following a comprehensive review by the club of its commercial strategy in line with its vision and future growth plans,” the statement adds.

The betting firm was thanked for supportive efforts it shared with the club as it seeks opportunities elsewhere.

“This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us. Everton would like to thank SportPesa for all of the work that has been done together.”

“Our partnership has seen our first team visit Africa on two occasions, as well as former players and club staff, take part in numerous activities in the region. This has allowed us to grow our own footprint in Africa and further strengthen our brand.”

SportPesa woes

In mid-November last year, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) lodged an appeal against a ruling by the Tax Appeals Tribunal filed by SportPesa that a punter’s betting stake cannot be charged 20 percent tax on winnings.

The taxman is also challenging another ruling that the responsibility for payment of the tax should be on the punters and not the betting firms, shielding the latter from prosecution and aggressive pursuit of the 20 percent withholding tax.

The tribunal sitting in Nairobi had ruled that the 20 percent tax should be charged on the positive difference between the payout made and stakes placed in a given month.

The case looks set to influence an ongoing tax dispute between KRA and more than 20 betting firms including SportPesa and Betin Kenya, which have been denied operating licenses.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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