Kenya’s mobile based sports betting industry has in the recent past recorded exponential growth in revenue. This is owed to the ease of placing bets online and through SMS and payment through mobile money platforms – MPESA and Airtel Money.
The betting business introduced in Kenya in 2013 and seen to be a source of income to many young unemployed Kenyans, first came through Sportpesa. It is an industry that has captured the imagination of Kenya’s economy.
According to the Taxman (Kenya Revenue Authority), tax from the betting companies has tripled in 2 years. The taxman noted that 8 out of the 25 registered betting firms paid a total of Kshs. 4.7 Billion in two financial years. This makes it one of the most profitable business ventures one can get into.
The industry operates under the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, which some stakeholders argue is outdated owing to the evolution of the industry particularly in the use of mobile and online platforms for betting.
Whatever you make from gambling is tax free. It requires low investment for instance in Kenya some gambling companies allow up to 10 shillings.
Despite the much benefit the betting business is giving to the economy in relation to tax and creation of employment, it comes along with short comings as well. People who cannot afford to gamble with the set limit amounts and those who have not phones choose to go for backstreet/illegal gambling. This is due to lack of a modern and progressive law to regulate the industry.
Gambling can lead to depression sometimes because of losing money that one would have used for other important things. It is addictive and time consuming. Most people deny that they are addicted but that is usually the case. You can spend more than you can afford and run into debt.
Below is a list of betting firms in Kenya:
- Royal Kenya Bets
- Gaming International
- Goldbet Kenya
- Uwezo Bet