Throughout this essay, we will examine the iGaming and gambling scene in Kenya, as well as the many avenues via which you may break into this quickly expanding sector.
Kenya’s gaming industry is a multibillion-dollar enterprise.
It is predicted that the Kenyan gambling industry is worth $40 million by 2020, and it is expanding at a fast pace despite the global economic downturn. Kenya is now the third-largest gaming market in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of sheer size (behind South Africa and Nigeria), but it boasts the greatest proportion of youthful gambling participants in the area. Young Kenyans already spend more money on gambling than their counterparts in other African nations on an annual basis.
Kenyan gambling is dominated by sports betting, which accounts for more than half of the industry. Football is the most popular sport to bet on in Nigeria, as it is in many other African countries, with the European leagues in particular accounting for a significant portion of betting preferences in Nigeria.
Sportsbooks are closely followed by online poker and online casino games, but those industries have not yet achieved the levels of popularity that would allow them to compete with betting sites. Approximately 30 sportsbooks have been granted licenses to operate in Kenya, and it is believed that the aggregate income of all sportsbooks in the nation totals $2 billion. SportPesa was the first online sportsbook to join the industry, receiving its license in 2013. It was the first online sportsbook to enter the market.
In Kenya, according to GeoPoll’s data, SportPesa is by far the most popular betting platform, with 82 percent of Kenyan gamblers stating that they have a SportPesa account at the sportsbook. Betin, Elitebet, Betika, Mcheza, and Betpawa are some of the other most popular bookmakers in the world.
The market for land-based casinos is well-established and very active. Kenya has 30 licensed casinos, the most of which are situated in the country’s main cities. Some of the country’s largest and most well-known casinos are the Casino Flamingo, the Mayfair Casino, and the Captain’s Club in Nairobi, as well as the Golden Key Casino and the Senator Casino in Mombasa. Kenyans like playing table games such as blackjack, roulette, and poker. Slot machines are also popular, with an estimated total of about 200 gaming tables and 1300 slot machines distributed throughout the nation, according to the Kenya Gaming Commission. In the past, the majority of the market’s attention was concentrated on brick and mortar betting shops and land-based casinos, but in recent years, there has been a significant movement to the internet, which has created many possibilities.
Kenya’s digital future
Technology is what distinguishes Kenya from other countries. Kenya has a relatively high internet penetration rate for an African nation – 43 percent – compared to the rest of the continent. And the overwhelming majority of internet users in the nation access the internet via their mobile devices. With the widespread use of digital technology, the online gambling industry has seen rapid development. It is not just a matter of convenience, but many individuals in Kenya live in rural regions that are far from casinos and betting shops. Already in 2019, 88 percent of bettors utilized their mobile phones to make bets, and it is expected that this figure will only grow in the next months.
Another element contributing to this development is M-Pesa (mobile money), a program for online payments that is very popular in the nation and is used by millions of people. Kenya’s economy is still primarily dependent on cash transactions, thus credit cards and bank accounts are still very uncommon. M-Pesa fills the need by enabling customers to make deposits at retail shops that can subsequently be transferred to online bookies and online casinos.
The potential client base for online gaming companies has been significantly increased as a result of this.
In Kenya, the online-only parts are just now starting to gain popularity among the public. Slot machines, for example, provide just thirty percent of the profits generated by internet casinos, but the low risk and simplicity of such games are attracting an increasing number of young people.
The majority of Kenyan gamblers are between the ages of 18 and 25, and are either students or come from low-income families. They see online gambling not just as a method to unwind but also as a means of earning more money to complement their income. As a consequence, it is common for Kenyan operators to depend on huge volumes and high frequency of low-value bets in order to survive.
Details of the Kenyan legal system’s peculiarities
Gambling is fully legal in Kenya in general, but the legal environment is complicated and difficult to navigate. The majority of the rules are derived from the “Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act” of 1966, and as a consequence, internet gambling is not included in any way, shape, or form.