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Economy

Betin website down after CA order

Betin Kenya
Betin Kenya is among 27 companies whose betting licences had not been renewed after June 30. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Betin Kenya website is down days after the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) directed the IT firm hosting the betting firm's web domain to bring it down over the ongoing licensing dispute.

The website hosted by tech firm Deep Africa Limited has been down since late last month, grounding the betting company's online transactions.

Betin Kenya linked the downtime to a technical hitch, but a notice it sent to Parliament indicated that the communications regulator had ordered Deep Africa to shut down its internet web domain.

“The Communications Authority has proceeded to instruct the web hosting organisation, Deep Africa Limited, to shut down the company’s internet web domain www.betin.co.ke,” reads part of the letter to the Senate committee.

Betin Kenya is among 27 companies whose betting licences had not been renewed after June 30, pending the outcome of an inquiry about their suitability to operate in the country.

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Its M-Pesa paybill was disabled, preventing new deposits that are used to place bets on mobile phones and to pay those who win.

On Tuesday, Deep Africa Limited linked the website snag to a regulatory issue. “The only people who can explain this is the authority (Communications Authority),” said an official at the tech firm who sought anonymity.

Betin Kenya together with SportPesa have launched a court fight for Safaricom to unblock M-Pesa pay bills and SMS short codes the telco suspended following a government order.

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) ordered Safaricom on July 10 to suspend M-Pesa payment systems and SMS codes for 27 betting firms, including SportPesa and Betin., saying their operating licences for the year starting July 1 were not up to date.

Betin Kenya said the withdrawal of the operating licence was illegal, arguing it had a court order stopping the recall of its permit.

Betin Kenya also lobbied Parliament to reverse a deportation order issued against its directors — Leandro Giovando and Domenico Giovando — who have been denied entry into the country.

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