Sportpesa goes live in Tanzania
Sportpesa officially launched its operations in Tanzania on Tuesday the 9th. This comes after massive success in Kenya and the UK.
The entry into Tanzania comes at a time when sports betting is becoming increasingly popular in the region thus prompting international brands to establish a presence.
The launch is part of Sportpesa’s strategy to become a regional leader in sports gaming.
Speaking during the launch, Tanzania Sports Minister Harrison Mwakyembe expressed his gratitude to the betting firm for seeing potential in Tanzania. He added that Sportpesa’s entry would, not only increase enthusiasm for sports but also create employment opportunities.
Mwakyembe urged Sportpesa to replicate the success it has had in Kenya so as to uplift sporting standards in Tanzania. He went on to express the government’s commitment to support initiatives that target local talent.
The partnership is set to benefit both parties: all parties involved will benefit from existing partnerships with popular English premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Southampton, and Hull City, the first clubs to be sponsored by an African Brand.
The Tanzanian government pledged that the revenue collected from the industry would be channeled towards growing the sports industry in Tanzania.
The Interim Betting Control of Tanzania Director General James Mbawe was quoted saying that the Tanzanian government realized the benefits of sports betting and that it is committed to protecting winners, families, and Tanzania from any negative effects that may be brought about by sports gaming or betting. He did not, however, clarify how the government last to do this.
Sportpesa and Regulations
The road has not been easy for betting companies in Kenya since the 2017/2018 budget was read. The betting and gaming industries were the biggest losers as the tax was raised to 50%. As expected, betting companies have been up in arms protesting this move since the proposed tax will affect betting. Currently, the tax stands at 7.5%, lottery at 15%, and gaming at 12%.
Kenyan Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich attributed this move to the negative consequences that industry is alleged to have on young people and vulnerable members of the society. Some people are said to perceive betting as a money-making venture and this has affected their finances and also relationships with their loved ones. Betting is also considered addictive.
In Tanzania, sports gaming is seen as one of the fastest growing industry earning the government Tsh. 21.9 billion ($9.7 million) in revenue during the 2015/2016 fiscal year. With the entry of Sportpesa, this revenue is expected to increase significantly.
We cannot expect a hike in tax that soon but it is possible that the government will rethink this if and when the industry grows as much as it has in Kenya. Or not.
The Sportpesa betting company launched its operations in Kenya in 2014 and has since achieved massive success.
After Tuesday, the company will be operating in Liverpool, Nairobi, and Dar-es-Salaam. We can only anticipate success and continued expansion of sports gaming.