• Betting on football especially is wildly popular, but other sports are not far behind.
• Sports betting also can be done online and usually gives better odds
Those familiar with general economic trends in countries all across central Africa will notice multiple similarities between this industry and others. What an overview of the Kenyan gambling market clearly indicates is a quickly growing opportunity for both investors and consumers.
This surge is bound to happen due to three predictable factors:
- Increasing population
- Fast technological adaptation
- Improved economic stability
More than a million people will celebrate their 18th birthday in Kenya next year, raising the market faster than anywhere else in the world. And the relative youth and adaptability of the market mean that the technical capabilities of the users are one of the best in the world.
Albeit this might spell additional work for the lawmakers, especially when it comes to online options, the community as a whole composed of both investors and players will benefit greatly in the upcoming years.
Long Tradition of Gaming
Easter Africa in general and Kenya, in particular, have a long tradition in games. This is both when it comes to skill and when it comes to chance. Such millennia-old traditions haven’t ceased with modernization but rather adapted.
For that reason exactly are sports bettors like Betsafe KE reporting a record number of players. Betting on football especially is wildly popular, but other sports are not far behind. Basketball, cricket, and even darts are included in what customers like to bet on.
Laws on Terrestrial Gambling
Kenyan legislature on terrestrial gambling is quite simple in most regards. Only those older than 18 can gamble and there are some restrictions on predatory tactics like preventing any force or intoxication to drive the bets.
But, aside from that small age and capability restriction, little is stopping an operator from taking a license and opening a casino or betting house. There are more than a dozen open in Nairobi at this time.
The only issue is taxation, and that is what drives chances for players to be slightly worse than in most casinos. Namely, the law states that taxes should be paid on both the bets and the winning, which makes every bet twice as expensive.
These laws are being contested, but a resolution is yet to be found.
Internet is a Gray Area
Unlike terrestrial gambling, games played online are not taxed twice and are generally uncovered by local laws. It is by no means illegal, but it is not clearly legitimized in the legislation.
And, with the majority of the country being covered with smartphones and relatively fast internet, this forces a boom in the online gambling market. Games here are not only cheaper to play and more accessible but are often fairer to the player.
Sports betting also can be done online and usually gives better odds for the players than anything land-based.
Great Investment Opportunity
Establishing a business in Kenya is a good idea regardless of the business. But, it is especially lucrative if it comes to gambling. With more than 10 million people expected to come of age in the next decade, the market is quickly growing.
That means that early adopters will have a lot to look forward to and can expect only increased returns as time passes.
Regardless if it is sports betting or online gambling, the focus in the Kenyan gambling market today is much more on entertainment than on any other type of gain.
Consumers demand having fun while playing, and a smart operator or investor would be wise to accommodate such needs.