Because the house always wins, the founders of betting company SportPesa made a killing in the first four and a half years of operation after launching in 2014.

According to audited financial statements and management accounts for the period ending June 2019, the payouts amounted to Sh7.6 billion.

Among those who laughed all the way to the bank are foreign and local entrepreneurs: Mrs Asenath Wachera Maina, Guerassim Nikolov, Paul Ndungu, and Ronald Karauri.

Nikolov and Mrs Maina, who own a 21 percent stake each, earned gross cumulative dividends of Sh1.6 billion each, the Business Daily reports.

Mr Ndungu earned Sh1.3 billion while the SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri made away with a cool Sh535 million in less than 5 years.

The documents seen by the daily show that SportPesa founding company Pevans East Africa started paying dividends in 2015 when it distributed Sh1.57 billion. In 2016, Pevans reportedly paid a record dividend of Sh4.3 billion.

In 2017, the payout fell to just Sh290.3 million and rose to Sh876.5 million the following year.

In the half year ended June 2019, the payout amounted to Sh559.9 million. SportPesa would then cease operations shortly thereafter after the taxman came calling over alleged non-payment of taxes amounting to Sh95 Billion.

According to KRA, this comprised a principal tax of Sh66.7 billion, a penalty (Sh13.3 billion), and interest (Sh14.9 billion).