Understanding the Kenyan Gambling Industry

Kenya ranks among the best African countries with a robust economy. Despite this success, the gambling industry is slowly growing into a formidable addition to the country’s financial growth.

There are projections which indicate that by the end of the year, Kenya would have recorded a gambling turnover of $50 million.

The Gambling Landscape in Kenya

Kenya ranks among the top 3 gambling destinations in Africa. An audit conducted in 2017 revealed that the industry is transforming into a multimillion dollar affair with the passage of time. Currently, there are 30 licensed operators in the country together with casinos. The gambling sectors include prize competitions, sports betting and lotteries.

If you happen to visit Kenya, you will be treated to a rich variety of games located in several popular venues. The venues include Senator Casino located in Mombasa, the Golden Key Casino, Captain’s Club in Nairobi, the Mayfair Casino and Casino Flamingo among others. Popular table games that you will encounter include roulette, poker and blackjack. You will be surprised to learn that Kenya has more than 200 gaming tables. For lovers of slot games, there are over 1300 slot games in the brick and mortar casinos.

Sports betting

With the popularity of international leagues like the Premier league and La Liga, many youths in Kenya have embraced sports betting for entertainment as well as an income generating venture. This demand has been fixed by the 30 sportsbooks that have been licensed to operate. Today, sports betting alone contributes an annual revenue of $2 million. The first sportbook to be registered in 2013 was SportPesa but it has since pulled out of the Kenyan market due to unfavourable taxation conditions.

Gambling in Kenya dates back to 1966 when gambling regulation was established. In recent days, the government created a Betting Control and Licensing Board which has transformed the industry into a world class economy through proper licensing and regulation. Additionally, the Kenyan market has taken off on the same scale as other parts of the world, owing to the introduction of mobile technology.
The country has embraced mobile technology since the beginning of the 21st century. Today, 95% of the Kenyan population has access to a mobile phone. The penetration of smartphones is the reason why gambling operators have identified Kenya as a rich destination. These devices have motivated a huge percentage of the population since they can place bets and play games from the comfort of their homes.
Out of all mobile gamblers, statistics indicate that 64% have smartphones whereas 40% can access at least a standard phone. 55% of all mobile owners gamble twice or more times in a week. This trend shows how the population is growing an affinity for gambling in each passing day.

The typical gambling persona

With the above statistics, you must be wondering about who makes up these numbers. Well, Geopoll Statistics reveal that 70% of all bettors comprise of males. The imple reson is that males are more attracted to sporting events especially football which is the common game for betting. Males are also huge fans of European leagues. Out of the gambling population, most of them are aged between 25 and 34. They are enthusiastic youths who are looking forward to make a living since most of them do not have stable jobs. People aged above 35 are less likely to gamble because they have greater life responsibilities than wasting money on betting.


The advent of smartphone technology has transformed the betting fortunes in Kenya. More individuals can now access betting platforms and enjoy placing wagers at their convenience. The industry continues to grow as more operators seek licenses to operate in the country.

The period beyond Covid-19 will see the industry flourish once again because all gaming activities are set to resume.

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