High internet penetration, Mobile money services making sports betting in Kenya easier

Sports betting has grown steadily in Kenya since 2013 when the first online sports betting company was registered . Passionate fans, mainly those in the European league, are placing bets via companies that predict the odd on different sports across this league.  This is quickly making the continent one of the most promising and lucrative playgrounds for gambling firms.

A report by Price Water Coopers (PwC) on Gambling in Africa, notes that certain countries in the continent including Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa have experienced a massive outbreak of online betting companies.

These betting companies provide an online platform where people can access information about the different sports being played. They can then upload funds to bet on their preferred sports, decide in terms of players and teams of the sport to bet on. For example, a company like Betin Kenya, owned by GoldBet Group, a major European online and retail betting operator uses a Betin Kenya Promotion Code . What this code does is provide users with instant access to exclusive cash benefits on top of the high odds available on the various events that one can place a bet on. At the end of the day, users either win money as a result of the bets they have made or lose out on the funds they have risked.

So why is sports betting on the rise? Internet penetration in the continent and the use of mobile money, especially in Kenya, are major contributing factors. People can bet on matches through their mobile phones wherever they are, at any time and win money. For online betting company Betin Kenya, registering is a very simple process. All users need is a mobile phone registered in their name and the company is advising users the best line to use for this process would be Safaricom line for M-Pesa withdrawal purposes. This shows how these mobile money companies are cashing in on this business. In fact, Kenyans using mobile money platform M-Pesa to bet Vodafone Plc’s unit in the East African country boost transaction volumes by 48 percent in the past year.

PwC through statistics released late last year also indicated that the annual gross turnover of sports betting industry in Kenya is $20 million (Sh2.1 billion). This shows you how lucrative the business has become.

The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) says about 30 companies have been licensed as operators of the betting business. Applications from many more are also at various stages of consideration before being approved, this means this number could be higher before the year comes to an end.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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