advertisement

Companies

SportPesa inks deal with Italian company in expansion plans

Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa (left) with SportPesa chief executive Ronald Karauri after signing a deal in June last year in Nairobi. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU
Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa (left) with SportPesa chief executive Ronald Karauri after signing a deal in June last year in Nairobi. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU  

Gambling firm SportPesa has signed a deal with Italian company Microgame as part of its planned expansion into the European country.

SportPesa has outsourced work to the Italian company in a deal which will see Microgame provide services including an online sportsbook and casino, online poker and bingo products. Microgame builds platforms for online gaming.

“The Italian-facing products will then be enhanced with SportPesa’s proprietary games, with Microgame’s technical staff working alongside SportPesa’s Development team to handle the integration,” said SportPesa in a statement.

SportPesa earlier this year said it was expanding into the Italian market following the acquisition of majority stake in RSC Gaming.

The two companies did not disclose the value of the deal but it was expected that SportPesa would take over the RSC Gaming’s GazzaBet platform in India.

The Italian expansion is part of SportPesa’s rapid growth since it was established four years ago. Earlier this year, the company launched operations into Tanzania. The company says it now employs 500 people across six countries.

SportPesa and other gambling firms have come under heavy pressure in the domestic market with the government imposing taxes of 35 per cent on revenues. 

The company, however, said that the new taxes were unlikely to affect volumes as the earnings of bettors were not going to be touched.

The local gambling scene has flourished in recent years with at least a dozen sports betting platforms setting up shop locally.

Their growth has been partly driven by mobile phone penetration and the ubiquity of mobile money.

However, research has shown that Kenya may have a gambling problem on its hands with one-third of respondents surveyed in a study by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Mozilla foundations saying that they had used their phones for betting.

Using a smartphone, the study said, increased the likelihood of gambling.

advertisement