The rapid growth of the online gambling industry in Kenya can be attributed to the societal acceptance of gambling as a form of sports recreation in the continent. It is difficult to break African stereotypes, especially when it is perceived to affect culture and morals, but gambling in Kenya – and Africa, in general, has crossed that hurdle.
Many critics attribute the acceptance and growth of gambling to the success of stakeholders in positioning gambling as a recreational activity that offers significant benefits. Today, gambling offers the possibility of instant wealth for individuals and economic benefits for countries through tax revenues and employment.
Geteye, a 27-year-old university student, who admitted to having won multiple times from his stakes on 22Bet Kenya claims gambling in Kenya, has come to stay. According to him, the belief of a better future which winning a bet can offer gives many Kenyans the reason to continue gambling.
“From my winnings last weekend, I was able to settle some pressing issues – and I am happy for that”, he said; with the promise of placing another stake on his favourite teams this weekend.
However, not everyone has the same story as Geteye when it comes to winning their last bet, but one thing they all seem to share in common is a strong belief that they will win the next one. Want to know more about the online gambling industry in Kenya? Below, we have highlighted 5 things you should know.
5 Things You Should Know About Gambling in Kenya
1. Internet Accessibility Plays a Crucial Role
According to Statista.com, Kenya boasts of one of the fastest internet penetration in Africa at 85.2%. The availability of the internet in the country has played a crucial a big role in making gambling platforms accessible across the country. Gambling platforms like 22Bet Kenya which offers both web and mobile options through compatible and easy-to-use mobile applications give Kenyans the ease of gambling from the comfort of their home or offices.
2. Kenya Remains One of Africa’s Gambling Power Houses
Kenya boasts of the third-largest gambling market in Africa, after Nigeria and South Africa. When compared in relation to their official populations as released by the World Bank, it is safe to say Kenya with a population of 53.77 million people has the largest market, compared to Nigeria with 206.1 million people and South Africa at 59.77 million.
3. Kenya Has Highest Number of Young Gamblers in sub-Saharan Africa
According to official data from a survey carried out by GeoPoll, Kenya is a country with the highest number of young adults in sub-Saharan Africa, who are between 17-35 years of age, who indulge in gambling daily. It is also estimated that an overwhelming 78% of university students in Kenya gamble at least once every two days weekdays and daily over the weekends.
4. Gambling is a Multi-Million Dollar Industry
The presence of top international gambling agencies like 22Bet Kenya in the country has enabled a large expansion of the gambling industry in Kenya. Holding on to its position as the third-largest gambling market in the entire African continent, the country has been able to attract stakeholders and investors who continue to remain competitive.
According to official figures released by the Kenyan Treasury, the gross gambling revenue in a fiscal year is equivalent to half of the country’s annual health budget.
5. The Presence of Government Regulations is Complicated
Through the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), the government promises to regulate the gambling industry and protect the interests of both gamblers and investors. However, critics believe that the government – which compels gambling agencies to surrender 35% of its profits are more interested in milking the industry than actually regulating it.
In Kenya, the gambling industry has experienced tremendous successes with an increasing number of people venturing daily to try their luck at the jackpot. The massive sports followership in the country has contributed in no small way to the popularity of sports betting in the country – something many Kenyans themselves admit will not end anytime soon.
However, many argue that the trend may be affected if the government goes ahead to carry out its plan to tax gamblers themselves. Critics believe this is a form of double taxation and the proposed policy is less likely to see the light of day. Only time will tell what the future holds for the gambling industry in Kenya – and Africa in general.