Rise of Online & Mobile Betting in Kenya

Posted by Paul Michael on August 20th, 2018

Kenya’s Online Betting Revolution

With a population of over 45 million, Kenya has one of the largest economies in Africa and is experiencing one of the fastest technological growths in the world. The rise of mobile technology and the availability of the high-speed Internet has completely transformed a nation that a few years ago was seemingly in the technological dark ages.

Sports betting has always been popular in Kenya. With a nation passionate about football and other sports, it is not surprising that betting shops have been a major source of income for the gambling sector. While in the past, location and infrastructure limited the number of potential bettors, today; these limitations have been removed altogether. Smartphones and the rise of mobile technology have meant that just about anyone with a smartphone and a desire to gamble can use a mobile betting app to place bets on local and overseas sports.

The Influence of Digital Mobile Technology

Kenya now has the third largest gambling market in Africa, behind South Africa and Nigeria. A key factor to this statistic is mobile digital technology. While desktop-based gambling is still relatively low in the country, a recent GeoPoll survey conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, determined that Kenya had the highest amount of youths aged between 17 and 35 who were regularly participating in gambling activities. This is all thanks to the proliferation and use of mobile technology.

The affordability of mobile technology is possibly the most significant influence here. In Kenya, basic smartphones are so reasonably priced that some people are buying phones specifically for online betting purposes. Another factor is the countrywide coverage of mobile data and Internet infrastructure. Even the most remote villages in Kenya receive 3G or 4G mobile data coverage, giving more people the opportunity to access mobile betting sites and betting apps.

The availability of the technology has meant an increase in the number of local online betting sites, as well as overseas sites that welcome Kenyan bettors. Many of these sites can be found right here at African Betting Guide, as we rate and review the top options for local bettors.

There are several sites that are focused on the Kenyan market, accepting Shillings and providing user-friendly banking options, and the rise of sports betting can also be linked to mobile payment mechanisms such as m-Pesa and Airtel. Bettors no longer need to head to the bank or use Internet banking to make a payment into their account. With mobile payment platforms and SMS banking, funds can be transferred instantly and accessed straight away. This makes mobile betting more appealing than ever before.

Promoting Responsible Sports Betting

While certainly a boost to the economy, the proliferation of mobile sports betting is also a cause for concern. Problem gambling is on the rise, with more and more youths incorporating betting as a way to supplement their income. Without the proper knowledge and responsibly from betting sites, Kenya could be looking at a generation of gamblers who don’t play responsibly.

For their part, the government has started to implement steps to curb or control the rapidly growing gambling sector. In 2017, the government introduced a massive five-fold hike on all betting activities. The funds would then go towards sports and cultural activities. The government is also considering giving betting companies preferential tax treatment if they pay out their customers with government bonds and shares in Blue-chip companies.

At the end of the day, the onus is on betting sites to provide secure, legal betting apps with enough information and support to create and support responsible and financially smart customers. Leading Kenyan bookmakers Betway Kenya and Betin have both taken steps to ensure that all their customers are legally registered to gambling online. They also provide ample information about sports and news, along with support for problem gamblers. It’s this level of care that all operators should employ to ensure that their customers are safe and that they bet responsibly.

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Paul Michael

About the Author

Paul Michael
Joined: July 20th, 2018
Articles Posted: 31

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