Exclusive: CityBet boss on how his young firm is defying odds to promote local football

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David Mugo, the General Manager of arguably the youngest Kenyan betting firm CityBet, on Thursday revealed that his company is steadily getting involved in promoting the ever growing local talent in Kenyan sport.

He says CityBet is committed to ensuring young talents in informal settlements such as Nairobi’s Kawangware, Dandora, Kayole and Mathare estates are nurtured and given best opportunities to showcase their talents- the best way to improve the Kenyan game.

Also Read: DP Ruto’s stern warning to Kenyan betting firms, we won’t negotiate tax! 

Mr Mugo founded CityBet in 2017 but went active in February this year and believes the only way to give back to the society is to help it achieve its goals.

“We have engaged in a few activities. We’ve had tournaments arranged in Kawangware involving eight teams and it was very successful. We did another one in Kangemi and Kayole,” said Mugo, in an exclusive interview with Sportika.

The firm thrives in its close relationship with Kenyan sports stakeholders and believes the country has a lot of potential that can go a long way.

“We believe that Kenya has a lot of potential. Things have changed and there is so much money in football and it is important for corporate entities like us to take up the role of shaping the future of our kids,” added the 38-year-old who ditched Kenya’s leading betting firm SportPesa to form his own.

Mugo says his company CityBet hopes to create more development initiatives in future.

“Our aim is to help our youth know that they can earn a living by playing football. When we put them in such platforms, they get exposure and that’s how we can get more players like Victor Wanyama (Harambee Stars captain),” he said.

Challenges

Despite getting deeply committed to local football development, CityBet boss says there exists a myriad of challenges in the process. Limited resources is just among the many but he believes they will cruise through.

“Our resources might be limited as at now but moving forward, we hope the company will grow so we can delve into more sports development,” he said.

35 per cent tax

While he admits that every business is obligated to pay tax to the national kitty, Mr Mugo believes the government is being ‘punitive’ with the recent 35 per cent tax imposed on all betting, gaming and lotteries in the country.

The imposition led to some betting firms cancelling all their sponsorship deals with Kenyan sports entities, leaving them cash strapped and messed.

” We want to pay tax because we are good citizens but the government should not be punitive on how they apply these taxes,” he said.

Adding that,”This industry employs thousands of people so if you kill this business, you kill so many people.”

 

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