In recent news, the businessman and CEO of SportPesa Ronald Karauri announced plans to run for a seat in the parliament of the capital city of Kasanari. The next General Elections are scheduled for August 2022, where Karauri will be seeking to unseat MP Mercy Gakuya for the position.
Karauri is a well-known businessman in Kenya, and his popular betting company, SportPesa, has been one of the most successful to operate in the country. Two years ago, Karauri and his company fell into disagreement with the Kenyan government over tax issues. With a disputed tax debt of Sh14.9 billion, SportPesa’s betting license was revoked. To make matters worse SportPesa’s parent company, Pevan East Africa Limited, canceled all operations in Kenya, leaving the betting company on its own. Karauri then turned to the courts where he had little success.
A Way Forward
A few months later though, a new partnership was secured, with SportPesa going under the betting license of newcomer Milestone Gaming Limited. Though the Kenyan government has since kept up its attempts to obstruct SportPesa this time Karauri has been able to oppose much of it in court.
One of the main opponents of Karauri and SportPesa has been Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i. Matiang’i is one of many in the Kenyan government that believes sports betting to be a burden on the well-being of the youth. Creating debt and hardship in an already turbulent economy.
Aiming for a Better Life
Karauri disagrees. He believes that sports betting, with its lucrative profits and ability to generate business, can greatly better the lives of Kenyans. This has become the basis for his decision to enter Kenyan politics. Karauri believes the perception that Matiang’i and certain members of the government have about sports betting is misguided.
Karauri has not yet decided which party he will contest in the upcoming elections. He has nonetheless begun working to secure the bid for MP in Kasanari. Karauri is known for making charitable donations to hospitals and clinics in the capital, where he hopes to gain support.