Kenya is seen by online bookmakers to be one of the highest potential areas in the world. Betting sites are tailoring their services more and more to accommodate this emerging African country, flanked by Tanzania, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Popular sports to be bet on include domestic football competition the Kenyan Premier League, American sports like the NBA and NFL and of course different soccer competitions from the UK and Europe. Horse racing is also held and wagered on in Kenya, including in capital Nairobi.
This article will describe the sports betting landscape in Kenya, including laws, things to look out for and make recommendations as to what the best sites to wager with are.
Kenya sports betting sites
BettingPlanet.com is in the process of scouring the globe for the best online sportsbooks accepting Kenyan traffic. In the coming weeks we will add thorough reviews and opinions of various betting products available to residents of Kenya.
BEST KENYA BETTING SITES
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SportPesa: A Kenyan founded bookie which has found a name for itself on the global stage, as it pushes into the UK and other markets. Betting with SportPesa is easy if you are in Kenya with a fully fledged Android App available, and plenty of easy deposit methods suitable for sms and mobile deposits. SportPesa review.
BetIn Kenya: A great option for sports bettors or those looking to play casino games in Kenya. The website is fully licensed and has a strong reputation in the industry. Read our full review of BetIn Kenya which includes information about the apps available and how to deposit money into your account.
Betway Kenya: Fast and professional sms betting service with a global presence. Accepts Mpesa deposit meaning all you need to get started at this fantastic sportsbook / casinos is a safaricom sim. To get started at Betway Kenya open an account. After this process is complete it is self explanatory to fund your account using Mpesa.
1XBet Kenya: Has a large international betting presence and is the no.1 land-based betting company in Russia. The company has a dedicated Kenyan website and caters for SMS betting and deposits. Is definitely a bookmaker worth keeping an eye on with a great range of horse racing markets, including Australian and American. You will also find ample football markets from every league imaginable. Review of 1XBet Kenya.
BetPawa: Is a popular betting site in Kenya that we currently don’t recommend betting at. We will update this shortly with our reasoning.
Free or bonus bets for Kenyan Shilling bets
A great way to increase your betting power is to secure sign up bonuses from bookmakers. Often these come in the form of deposit bonuses, so if you deposit KSh 100 you might have the amount doubled by the chosen bookie.
While Kenyan punters do not have as many options as countries where the market is developed, like the United Kingdom or Australia, there will be ways the bookie tries to lure you in to secure your business.
We will update this section with specific information as it comes to light.
Bookie KES deposits & withdrawals
With the Kenyan banking system not as advanced as other places in the world, most KES bookie deposits are done via agents on the ground. This means you will visit a location or meet with an agent to give them money which will then appear in your betting account.
The other major way to deposit and place bets is via SMS, with many bookmakers set up to accept this function. Known as M-Pesa, the deposit option is popular and you can find out more by following the link.
If you have a Visa or MasterCard in Kenya you will most likely be able to make a deposit via this method.
Other popular deposit methods in Kenya
Mobile and app betting in Kenya
While Kenyan bookies are slowly developing their web presence, in comparison to other parts of the world they are relatively new to the game.
BettingPlanet does not know of any bookies with mobile apps available in Kenya, although one major licensed website is close to launching a regulated app for this market.
Most betting sites will have a website and several have specific mobile websites.
Sports betting laws in Kenya
The Betting Control and Licensing Board considers sports betting to be a game of skill, rather than chance, which means Kenyans are free to wager on sports.
The board encourages punters to bet with bookies regulated by them, but there have been no known cases of anyone being prosecuted for betting at offshore bookies.
The latest news and information about Kenya’s rapidly evolving gambling laws is covered regularly by the team at BettingPlanet.com.
Football is the obvious favourite of Kenyans, both local leagues and overseas competitions, but there are plenty of other sports both played and wagered upon.
History of gambling in Kenya
Kenya first had legal gambling introduced in Kenya in 1966 when the Betting Control and Licensing Board was ratified. Its function is to issue licenses and regulate the gambling industry.
The licensing board also plays a large role in combatting illegal gambling at underground shops. In 2016 they faced one of their biggest challenges with many land-based slots games being brought into the country without authorization.
In Kenya legal forms of gambling include brick and mortar casinos, online casinos run by the state and two official lotteries, which have government backing.
While there is still an undercurrent of illegal betting in Kenya, it is becoming more and more safe to bet with online operators licensed out of this country. There are also plenty of ‘offshore betting sites’ that will accept players from Kenya.
In comparison to many other countries in Africa, Kenya has a strict regulations surrounding gambling, which is a good thing given the stories we hear emerging from other countries in the vicinity.