Betting firms in Kenya shut down due to corona virus heat

Kenya faces an imminent lockdown, owing to the novel coronavirus that has literally shut down various commercial and social activities. The betting industry has not been spared either, having been very vibrant in the last few months when sporting activities were at their peak.

The Interior Ministry in the country ordered for closure of all social places, including betting shops and casinos. This information was passed through a circular which prohibited all forms of advertisements on betting and gambling.

Youths and Gambling

A 2017 Geopoll survey indicates that in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya has the highest number of youths engaged in gambling activities. The current measures by the Interior Ministry to prevent social engagements have dealt a major blow to this group of young people. It is even anticipated that they will resort to other wrong means to earn a living. Kenya has quite a number of informal settlements in urban centres. Most of the youths there rely on betting to afford essential utilities. For this quarantine period, most of them will opt for crime to make ends meet.

Closure of Major Sporting Firms

Even before the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Kenyan sports betting market was facing turbulent times. Sportpesa and Betin, which were the leading firms in the country closed shop, owing to frustrations from the government. Regulators in the country demanded that a 20% excise tax be applied upon every stake placed by bettors. Besides, there were other issues related to the renewal of licenses which brought about a heated dispute between the parties. At long last, both companies shut down.

The Uncertain Future

No one knows about how the future will look like, and even the best countries in the field of medicine do not have any tangible report on when a vaccine will be developed. This state of uncertainty has left many businesses without any structures of planning ahead. Sporting events are down on their knees, with no sign of resuming. The Kenyan betting market remains closed indefinitely. For betting diehards, such events can amount to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

On the other hand, betting companies are losing a lot of revenue, yet they cannot decipher how or when they will recover when the pandemic is over. Remember that the companies have employees who rely on clients to place bets before they can earn an income. Unfortunately, they have to stay home, and the much they can do is wish for the best.


The world continues to feel the burden of coronavirus, which is killing all sectors of the economy. Kenya is one of those countries that have experienced the worst economic downturns, especially in the betting industry. The government is grappling to find lasting alternatives, but limited resources in the country may not be enough to cater for every individual. If the spread of coronavirus continues at an exponential rate, there is a likelihood that the president will declare a lockdown for some weeks. In this case, bettors should brace for tougher times because all sectors of the economy will crumble.

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