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HomenewsPerception of Betting And Its Legality In Kenya

Perception of Betting And Its Legality In Kenya

The betting market in Kenya is a real phenomenon for local and foreign investors. There are a lot of factors that contribute to that. First of all, it is the boom of mobile technologies. Nowadays, cell phones have become more accessible to everyone. Betting companies adore them because it allows them to build a market where a customer can bet 24/7 and everywhere; the only requirement is an Internet connection. The business of online gambling is huge, and the companies are always fighting for the customers. For example, our experts have estimated MoazzartBet’s reputation in Kenya. Taking a look at this article, you will better understand how the online betting company functions. 

After the pandemic, online betting grew in popularity even more. But before that, we have seen that betshops are very widespread. This suggestion might sound a little depressing, but we think that it is due to the fact that there is a general lack of entertainment in Kenyan rural areas. Because of the lack of cinemas, amusement parks, or shopping malls, people are more likely to spend their free time placing wagers in a local betshop. 

But what are the other complications that betting has brought to Kenyans? What are its benefits? And what are the requirements for a betting company to open? Is it that easy? Those are the questions that we are going to answer in today’s article. 

Socio-Economic Issues of Online Betting 

To start with, a lot of countries consider betting a tool for neocolonial regulation of Western countries. Indeed, we may see certain patterns that explain the similarities. For example, a lot of money leaves the country and goes to non-local ventures. And it is also worth noting that some people consider certain sports the imposition of foreign culture. For example, there are no local Kenyan sports disciplines that you can place a bet on. It totally depends on you whether you accept it or not, but we think that it is not the byproduct of colonial domination but rather the outcome of the overall globalization trend. 

Another controversial point of betting is the fact that 40% of sub-Saharan African countries live below the poverty line. Unemployment, low wages, poverty—all of this pushes a desperate person to take huge risks in pursuit of instant money. But eventually, it traps people in a so-called debt hole. It makes it hard for an average person to break the vicious cycle of debt, addiction, winnings, and loss. 

However, later in the article, we will find out what the Kenyans undertook to eliminate these issues.

The Bright Side of Betting in Kenya 

Now that we are familiar with the disadvantages of betting, we think that it is time for us to say what the benefits of it are for the Kenyan economy, job creation market, and society in general.

 Because of the high popularity of betting, sports became more attractive to the younger generation, as they understood that it was a potential way to achieve success. It means that, seeing that local sports teams are improving, many younger Kenyans got interested in sports. Undoubtedly, this shift to sports popularization is a great trend.

As we take a look at betting from the job creation perspective, we may understand that this business created a lot of vacant workplaces. There is a certain division of employment; this can be either direct or indirect. Direct employment implies that people are working at betting shops, and indirect employment includes jobs that are related to this business, like advertising, software development, marketing, hotlines, sports sponsorships, and so on. Of course, betting is not a huge sector for job creation in Kenya, but still, it may seem like a silver lining in the context of unemployment. 

Betting also has such good effects on the Kenyan economy because every betting company pays tax money for public expenditures. And this money contributes to the development of society, as it goes to the sectors of health, education, transportation, and so on. Taxes are a great means for third-world countries to be less dependent on foreign donations and natural resource money. 

Betting Perception and Regulation in Kenya 

Now that we know the advantages and disadvantages of betting in Kenya, we may change our point of view and consider this from the perspective of the authorities. A bookmaker implies sports betting and pool betting schemes. There are a lot of things that have to be taken into account before establishing a bookmaking company. After looking at the most interesting requirements, you can understand that it is a very demanding business and that it requires a lot of preparation, cash investments, and knowledge of Kenyan law to license a bookmaker. 

  1. The fee for the application is 10,000 KES. The investigation fee for local directors is 50,000 KES, and for foreign ones, it is 500,000 KES. These fees must be paid in advance and cannot be refunded in any case.
  2. The company has to get a PIN and tax compliance certificate from the Kenya Revenue Authority.
  3. The director must provide a plan showing the minimum investment and sources of funding for the business, a list of sports events, and types of bets.
  4. A bookmaker must develop a plan for how to mitigate excessive play and underage participation.
  5. There are many other fees that must be paid, and a company must demonstrate the ability to cover these expenses.
  • Application fee: Ksh.10,000
  • The investigation fee is Ksh. 500,000 for foreign applicants and Ksh. 50,000 for the local applicant. Both application and investigation fees are non-refundable.
  • License grant fee: Ksh. 200,000
  • Annual license fee: Ksh.50,000
  • Premises grant fee: Ksh. 100,000
  • Premises annual fee: Ksh.50,000
  • License and premises renewal fees are Ksh. 5,000 each. 
  1. It is required that applicants appear before the Betting Control and Licensing Board members and make a presentation about the potential bookmaker company. To successfully get the license, the presentation has to take up the following points:
  • Understanding all the operations regarding the licensing requirements
  • Submission of the requisite documents
  • Demonstration to innovate and create new betting products
  • potential to grow.

Yes, there is a lot of work to be done for a bookmaker company to be successfully licensed. Kenya developed gambling regulations a long time ago. In 1966, the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act developed laws to control this business. It is a great example of gambling regulation because, in other African countries, there is a certain lack of supervision by public authorities. This can lead to the criminalization of betting and cause a lot of problems for society. 

However, there are still some things that can be improved. For example, the government planned to ban advertising on social media platforms, but eventually, it was not conducted by the Betting Control and Licensing Board. There have also been some discussions about not allowing celebrities to advertise betting companies because it distorts the perception of gambling for many people. Eventually, we have not observe shifts like that. The above-mentioned establishment increased the tax on gaming advertising by 35 percent to mitigate the problem. 


Taking a close look at the betting industry in Kenya, we have realized that there are many things that have a positive impact on the economy. For example, the tax the betting companies pay contributes to the development of the economy. But we must not forget that there is still 20 percent of the Kenyan population that lives beyond the poverty rate, and thus, they are more likely to become the victims of this sector. By reading the requirements for licensing a betting company, we concluded that bookmakers must think in advance about the possible scenarios to cut the sharp edges of gambling addiction. In general, we are optimistic about betting and hope that it will keep improving itself.