Robert Alai: It is ‘Treason’ for SportPesa To Sponsor Hull City for Sh6 Billion

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sport2Robert Alai has written a piece on the just announced SportPesa sponsorship of English Premier League side Hull City.

The controversial blogger says that SportPesa is paying Sh6 Billion (greatly exaggerated) and that it is ‘treason’ to send such an amount overseas when the betting company has not helped develop sports locally.

Read: The Amount SportPesa is Paying To Sponsor Hull City

Here’s the post by Alai.

It is completely foolish and baffling that Sportpesa could go all the way to Europe to adopt a team to the tune of Ksh 6 billion. Its treason of great proportion when the same business has never seen the need to invest on Kenyans to the same time when it’s making money from the negative addiction of Kenyans.

Betting is part of vice economy. It’s powered by the inherent greed in the human being. Despite it always be clear that the house always wins, meaning that you will never win more than the betting company, individuals still gamble their hard earned money hoping against hope that they will strike rich.

Sportpesa is said to be currently making money more than Safaricom’s MPesa. While Mpesa’s carry-on transaction volume is far much higher than that of Sportpesa, the latter’s model makes it a much more lucrative business. From a minimum of Ksh 100 to an infinite maximum, you can bet on the Sportpesa platform. If you bet Ksh 1million or Ksh 100, you either win or lose the entire amount.

The highest transaction rate on Mpesa is Ksh 330 for the Ksh 50,000 to Ksh 70,000 category of transfers.
Sources at Safaricom have intimated to me how they got surprised at the volume of Sportpesa earnings. They watched in disbelief as Sportpesa was transacting way above imaginary levels. The mobile provider had to even sabotage Mpesa and force it to pay them a higher rate of their earnings.

Sportpesa made great moves in investing in the local sports league. The betting behemoth has also sponsored the two leading national clubs (Gor and AFC). But the investment in local talent is dwarfed by the investment in EPL. While Gor earned Ksh 50 million (spread out annually) from the Sportpesa deal, AFC reportedly earned Ksh 45million. Arsenal, on the other hand, was paid Ksh 400 million. It made business sense to pay Arsenal that much.

The surprise came in the announced Ksh 6 billion payout to Hull City. It’s not clear what return the deal would give the betting company but it seems to be a brand positioning move which might never make business sense in the near future. The EPL might only boast of, at most, a dozen supporters in Kenya.

Paying out such an amount to a rich club from a rich country in a rich league should be considered treason especially when the payer is a selfish business person (inc institutions) operating and riding on the gullibility of those in the third world.

Why should Kenya go to borrow Ksh 100billion in a foreign country when businesses in Kenya repatriate such amounts to European countries? Sportpesa is not the most visible Kenyan blue chip and so it means that hundreds of Kenyan companies are in that league.

What if our govt relied on them for loans and grants? Yes we must maintain our domestic debt at a certain debt but research has shown that we can create more growth and use the money well when we borrow locally from those who understand us the best.

I suggested that the continued ownership of Mpesa by Vodafone should be ended or greatly cut down but this is not in the interests of the blindly greedy leaders. Same way, only a foolish regime would allow such a treasonous business crime to be committed by the likes of Sportpesa.

What do you expect in a country where the Deputy President owns a betting company?

Source: Nairobi Wire