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Indian company seeks foothold in African betting hub

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A Indian gambling company will enter the Kenyan market despite the tax imposed the government.

KENYA is being eyed by many gambling companies as a potential growth area.

The African nation has the highest youth gambling rates in the region and is largely an untapped market, with many traders wary of entering it because of a high local tax rate.

A huge population, a growing economy and improving internet services has seen an explosion in online wagering are the positives Nazara Technologies decision to take the plunge into the Kenyan market.

The Kenyan government has floated a plan to impose a 20% tax on all gambling winnings and revise the current 35% tax on gambling revenues to 15%.

Indian media outlets reported that Nazara had decided to enter the Kenyan market on Monday. According to the reports, the company has formed a subsidiary called NZWorld Kenya Ltd for its operations in the country.

NZWorld Kenya Ltd has been licensed under the Kenya Betting Control and Licensing Board with Nazara holding a 70% stake and a local partner holds a 30% stake.

The CEO of Nazara, Manish Agarwal said even though real-money online gambling is illegal in India it is big in Africa. He described it as a “a very big market in Africa and is the main reason why we are setting up a new entity in Kenya.”

He said the company settled on Kenya for its expansion because of its attractive market and a “well laid out and clear licensing framework” despite other Kenyan operators not being enamoured by the regime.

With concerns raised by operators, the gambling laws in Kenya are about to undergo critical reviews.
Agarwal noted the company is currently assessing the opportunities in the markets of countries like Ghana, Cameroon, and Nigeria with an eye to further expansion.

Agarwal said the company would introduce existing products including the social prediction sports and fantasy sports apps into the Kenyan market. The real money product would be launched this month ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup kick-off.

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