Betfred is the largest accredited, independent bookmaker worldwide. Now, the company’s proposed transaction with Sepels Sportsbet will be scrutinized by the Gauteng Gambling Board. This will be to make sure that every aspect of the deal abides by lawful regulations.

Following a scathing article released by The Star in which the legality of Sepels Sportsbet’s license was brought into question, the Gauteng Gambling board will be closely analyzing the company’s financial records. This will be done before giving it the approval required to go into business with Betfred.

Sepels Sportsbet makes use of 12 gambling licenses. However, they were signed under the name of Cyril Sepel, the deceased founder of the South African betting company. Following Cyril Sepel’s death, these licenses technically became a part of his deceased estate. The argument now is that the license’s ownership did not transfer over to the company.

Refusal to Supply Details

Cyril’s son and current Sepels Sportsbet CEO, Glen Sepel, refuse to give any details explaining how the licenses came into the company’s possession. To make things more suspicious, Glen Sepel is actually the executor of Cyril Sepel’s deceased estate

Morne Pieterse, the head of all Betfred operations in Africa claimed he had no prior knowledge of the issue. He also refused to give a statement on what he planned to do. 

However, an anonymous spokesperson was prepared to weigh in. They said that the allegations were noted and would be investigated. The Board is there to serve the people of Gauteng and will not tolerate shortcuts or unlawful conduct. If the licences were lawfully held by Sepels Sportsbet, this will count in their favor. 

Morne Pieterse, in response to this statement, claimed on the behalf of Betfred that the success of their business dealings with Sepels Sportsbet is in no way contingent on approval from the Competition Commission. Mr. Pieterse did not, however, go into detail about why this is the case. It is important to understand that Mr. Pieterse’s comments are likely motivated by his company’s pre-existing stakes in the South African betting industry. Betfred grossed over R60 million in 2021 alone.

Huge Revenue at Stake

Sepels Sportsbet, on the other hand, grossed over R100 million in revenue in 2021. As argued by Ulrich Roux, a JHB-based attorney, if The Star has produced accurate facts in their article then all signs point towards it being necessary for Sepels Sportsbet to acquire approval from the Competition Commission.

The Competition Commission has stated that its formal response is pending. No further comment will be made until all allegations made are analysed and investigated.

According to The Star, the Gauteng-based daily paper possesses copies of Pieterse’s application to the Gauteng Gambling Board regarding Betfred’s deal with Sepels Sportsbet. Pieterse successfully blocked the revealing of the purchase consideration and sale agreement from being published, citing an invasion of privacy.

As reported by The Star, it’s safe to assume that Sepels Sportsbet was offered a number in the realm of R100 million by Betfred.

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