Cell C partners with SportPesa

Read time 2min 40sec
Cell C allows customers to access SportPesa via USSD, app and SMS short codes free of charge.
Cell C allows customers to access SportPesa via USSD, app and SMS short codes free of charge.

Mobile operator Cell C has done another deal with a sports betting platform, this time with gaming platform, SportPesa.


Former ClickaBet CEO Craig Venter confirmed with ITWeb that ClickaBet was in fact sold to SportPesa effective 1 June 2018.
"They have integrated the business and the Cell C contract into their SportPesa South Africa entity," he said, adding that it was always part of his original strategy and business plan to sell the business to a global player once it was profitable.
"After achieving this over a 2 year period, I was approached by SportPesa and concluded the deal."

Cell C customers can now use the SportPesa platform on their mobile phones and are able to play and manage their accounts through USSD free of charge.

SportPesa, which has been largely credited with the growth of mobile money transactions in East Africa, launched its operations in South Africa in April 2018. The sports betting company says it hopes to replicate its success in Kenya, Tanzania, the UK and Italy by seeking to lower data costs for users while on the SportPesa platform.

"As operations expand in South Africa, the brand is hoping to grow our partnership with Cell C," says SportPesa GM Vincent de Speville.

"We want to give our customers an enriched experience, making it simple for them to bet on their favourite sports, and to be able to access our platform with as little cost to them as possible."

Cell C confirmed with ITWeb that it allows its customers to access SportPesa via USSD, the SportPesa app and SMS short codes free of charge.

"Cell C is proud to present its partnership with SportPesa, a platform that proves our continued drive to provide customers more choice and convenience at their fingertips," says Cell C CEO Jose dos Santos.

"The USSD, SMS and Android application service is free to customers on the Cell C network. Customers will still be liable for funding their betting account with SportPesa and paying for any bets they place. Cell C is not involved in this in any way and customers cannot bet using airtime or adding these charges to their Cell C account," a Cell C spokesperson told ITWeb.

Cell C says the zero rating associated with the USSD, app and SMS is exclusive to Cell C customers. However, the SportPesa service is available to all South Africans.

This is not the first time Cell C has partnered with a sports betting platform. In October 2017, Cell C partnered with online sports betting company, ClickaBet, allowing mobile sports betting on its network, using USSD and a prepaid debit card.

Cell C confirmed the ClickaBet platform was discontinued late last year.

At the time, ClickaBet CEO Craig Venter, who was previously CEO of Altech, told ITWeb that "a deal has been signed and concluded with a global sports betting operator with regards to ClickaBet".

SportPesa is a licensed bookmaker with the Western Cape Racing and Gambling Board. SportPesa is the main sponsor of PSL club Cape Town City FC, as well as Everton Football Club in the English Premier League. SportPesa is also the African betting partner of LaLiga, Arsenal and Southampton.

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