Safaricom suspends SportPesa’s paybill number

Safaricom has adhered to a government directive to suspend a pay bill number allocated to SportPesa.

On Friday, Safaricom asked users who tried to load money onto the number to contact their betting companies.

We tried to send some money to SportPesa’s pay bill number 955700 on Friday afternoon.

“Failed. Dear Customer, this Paybill is unavailable due to the Government directive to suspend Betting Paybill numbers. Kindly contact your Betting Company,” read a response from Safaricom.

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) has ordered Safaricom to suspend M-Pesa pay bills and SMS short codes for 27 betting firms including SportPesa and Betin because the operating licence for the year starting July 1 were not renewed.

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The gambling regulator says the 27 firms are yet to meet undisclosed licensing requirements and are being vetted to establish if they are fit to hold gambling permits.

Safaricom had hesitated implementing the orders, which affects 12 million betting accounts, saying some of the accounts have money and some firms like SportPesa and Betin have secured orders to continue operating.
It was not immediately clear if the giant telco had pulled pay numbers for other betting companies on the list.

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