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Kenya taking steps to cash in on growing gambling industry

Kenya betting
One of the strongest emerging markets in the ever-growing global gambling industry is Kenya.

The iconic African nation has opened its door to bookmakers and sports betting has quickly become multi-million dollar industry in the region.

The youth of Africa, especially in the sub-Saharan region, spends about $50 per month using their mobile phones to bet on football matches. This is due to the proliferation of sports betting companies and the youth’s passion driven towards sports. Another reason is the increase use of smart phones, which makes gambling easier.

A research by GeoPoll places Kenya as the country with the highest percentage of young gamblers. The research conducted in March 2017 sampled 3,879 people between the ages of 17 to 35 from countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa. It was found that Nairobi is the biggest gambling city in Kenya with 18 gambling facilities, 908 gaming slots, 128 tables games, and video poker machines. The research states that an average Kenyan gambles once a week, spending at least $50 a month on football bets.

The biggest casino with the highest stake in Kenya is the Flamingo in Nairobi. The company operates 160 gaming and video poker machines, 15 table games, and 2 poker tables.

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According to the reports an estimated 54% of youth in sub-Saharan Africa have tried their luck in gambling or sports betting. Kenya recorded the highest figure with 76%, followed by Uganda with 56%. The third on the list is Ghana with 42%.

Out of all the sports, football is the most bet-on in all the sampled countries with the exception of South Africa. Most of the football bets are also on the English premier league. The youth in South Africa rather prefers lotteries compared to poker, racing, or casino. However, in Kenya about 79% of bets are placed on football matches. In addition, the main platform used for gambling in Kenya is through mobile phones with an estimated 96% usage. South Africa has the lowest with 48% despite being the highest when it comes to mobile phone penetration in Africa.

Kenyan youth spends the most money in gambling compared to their counterparts in other Africa countries. They play each week spending at least $50 a month compared to that of other countries who gamble once a month and spends less than $50.