Monday, August 8, 2022

Kenyan betting Market: Expectations and Prognosis beyond 2021

Kenyan betting scene is undergoing major shifts. Pundits are projecting massive growth if the past success on gaming companies in Kenya is anything to go by. Despite challenging business environment, more international gaming companies have continued joining the market and setting shops in Kenya. An indicator of their confidence in the future of gaming activities in Kenya.

Sports betting is a relatively new phenomenon in Kenya which mainly started between 2011 to 2012.Thats is relatively recent and in slightly over eight years sports betting has rapidly grown beyond what everyone expected hence attracting a lot of players into the Kenyan sports betting scene.

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Kenya has grown into one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in the region, with the main player Sportpesa racking in billions in yearly revenue while they had operations in Kenya.

English premier league is popular in Kenya and that to a larger extent has driven the growth of sports gaming as punters bet on their favorite teams. This has significantly changed the way football is consumed in the country as conversions have gone who won the game to who won the bet.

Beyond 2021 here as some factors that would be interesting to watch.

Industry Outlook

New entrants are still joining the lucrative Kenyan gaming industry, which is an indicator of strong business fundamentals to do business even amidst the heavy regulation.

As long as the fundamentals are in check then beyond 2021, meaning people still bet in Kenya, there are indications of more players entering the market to cash in on the captive audience left in the dark as a result of the exit of key players in the sector.

Smartphone Penetration

Kenya leads the entire continent of Africa in smartphone penetration and internet usage. This coupled with advanced mobile payments supported by M-Pesa is going to clearly be a major consideration on how people play moving forward.

Millions of Kenya still have feature phones but as that gap narrows as more people are able to access affordable smartphones, then we will see a shift in how Kenyans will place their bets.

During the recent launch of 5G network in Kenya, The CEO of Safaricom, the country’s leading mobile network operator and pioneer of mobile payments indicated that their focus will be to ensure affordable smartphones in Kenya. This is to increase their internet usage as they expand their network but also plays in the hands of punters who will now have access to a new way to play.

Its then upon key industry players to ensure they run a lot of education campaigns for those transitioning from text-based playing to online and app-based betting.


The competition within the sector is growing at an insane rate with previous players working to defend their market share against well-oiled international sports betting companies with bigger marketing budgets to make significant impact.

Going forward pundits predict more players with significant investments in the sector to improve technology and educate the pundits on play modes.

This will come as good news to media owners and key stakeholders within the sector who will be direct beneficiaries of the trickle-down effect as a result of growth in the sports gaming sector.

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Alex Kiprop
News Moto sports correspondent. Catch up the latest results when they happen and as they happen, locally and international

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