Sports betting has been happening in Kenya for years, thanks to the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act of 1966, which legalized gambling in many forms.
This led to various forms of gambling becoming available, including casinos and betting shops. Forementioned spots grew till mid of 2000`s due to weak and obsolete legislation, the perceived economic size of the industry, lack of clear gaming policy and political interference of the operations of the Regulatory Board.
It’s only in the last few years that sports betting has really taken off online. The reason it took so long to boom were unaffordable mobile device and internet prices for Kenyans. For example, this is a country that only had two mobile phones per 100 people in 2002, and that also had high data charges.
Gambling in Kenya is LEGAL
Gambling Licence cost in Kenya is 100 000 000 KSH
There is a 20% tax for all winning stakes
Min gambling age is 18
In addition to classic casinos and betting shops, new spots for betting possibilities occurred in internet cafes. But data prices were still high, so for the majority of Kenyans, it was way cheaper to bet in betting shops.
The whole industry changed when SportPesa, the first and biggest Kenyan betting company started to operate in 2014. Invested millions of dollars in advertisements, they started an online betting boom which continues even nowadays.
Things were shaken up in the summer of 2019, as the government took action against a number of sites, angry that they had seemingly not been paying enough taxes.
Some of the top bookies in Kenya and the biggest names in the industry, such as SportPesa, Betway and Betin, were ordered to close their virtual doors. This didn’t just hit the betting sites though, as it’s thought that 12 million people had money tied up in the closed sites, which many were unable to withdraw.
Mobile Betting in Kenya
With a continuously growing population, currently around 52 million, a total of 43.3 million Kenyans have access to the internet. Mobile devices are by far the most popular way to gamble in Kenya. According to geopoll.com, 88% of gamblers have used their mobile device to place bets.
During the last 10 years, mobile data costs have dropped considerably. As a result, the lowering of data costs was a massive step towards mobile betting accessibility.
One GB of data can now be bought for Sh200 – a price affordable to many Kenyans nowadays. Kenya has also seen a massive improvement in its mobile infrastructure, with 3G and 4G now available across 85% of the country, which helps Kenyans to reach their favourite betting sites in a moment.
Nowadays you will find a Jackpot section at the most Kenyan bookmakers, but years ago only SportPesa exclusively offered their customers a few types of football Jackpots. Invest some shillings, usually up to 100, predict correctly 17 games and scoop progressive Mega Jackpot with the prize starting to rise at 100 000 000 KSH. That’s big money most Kenyans are dreaming about.
At the moment, there are about 20 betting legal sites in Kenya offering different types of football jackpots. We will take a look at the best of them by our experts` opinion.
22BET joined Kenyan sports betting arena in 2019 offering their customers 15 000KES first deposit bonus + weekly reload bonus up to 12 000 KES. They offer a weekly progressive jackpot, usually between 30 to 40 million KSH for 13 correct picks. There are consolation prizes for 12 and 11 correct picks, aswell.
TOP 3 Legal Betting Companies in Kenya
Kenyan government’s intervented gambling industry in summer of 2019 what affected 27 betting companies. Their licences revoked and their renewal applications were declined.
Some sites have come back online, however, there was further news in September. The government doubled the tax payable by betting companies, demanding all gambling sites in Kenya pay 20% of their value of bets in taxes.
Another tax law followed soon afterwards. This rule requires all winners to pay a 20% tax on their winnings, and sports betting sites are deducting this fee before making payouts.
In reality, this law has been in effect for a number of years, however it was only recently enforced by the Kenyan government.
Summarizing it all, you do not gain 20% of the expected profit. On the other side, your money is 100% safe and there will be no problems with cashouts. Are you still agree to pay 20% tax on winnings?
If the answer is YES, here is the TOP 3 legal bookies we recommend:
Betway is licensed and regulated by the Betting Control and Licencing Board of Kenya (BCLB). An on online mastodon of gambling was founded in 2006 but reached Kenya market only in 2015. During the last 5 years operating in Kenya, they have adjusted to the market and now offer the best you can find in sports betting:
1. Pre Match + Live betting
2. Deposit Bonus + regular promos on sports
3. Ultra-fast deposits/cashouts via M-Pesa, Airterl or Debit/Credit card
Soon there also will be Football Jackpots on Betway!
Recommended payment methods for Kenyans
Kenyan mobile market is by 90% controlled by Safaricom (M-Pesa) and Airtel. Therefore there are two payment methods that are particularly popular in Kenyan betting sites: M-Pesa and Airtel Money.
People can deposit money directly from their mobile account; that’s why third-party apps and services are rarely popular here in Kenya.
The absolute king of payment methods in Kenya. The payment is made by deducting the credit from a mobile phone, or by adding the deposit onto the next monthly bill. There are no service charges for a deposit, the top-up is instant and the min deposit amount starts only at 10KSH. Check the withdrawal fees before using this method, as they can be significant for the smallest transfers.
Airtel, the second-largest, mobile operator in Kenya have 12,8 million customers. It allows you to use your mobile phone as a wallet, with the money being loaded into this wallet via your mobile phone. Like M-Pesa, this means that the user does not need access to a bank account in order to deposit at sports betting sites. Noteworthy, the Maximum savings transfer into your