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The race for online casino market share in Kenya
The online casino sector has grown at an incredible rate during the last 25 years, and its international expansion has truly gathered pace following the turn of the century. Strongholds in Europe and North America remain a key focus, but a growing number of operators are seeking to engage new audiences.
Africa has emerged as one of those key marketplaces, with Kenya at the center of that trend. A growing number of our nation’s citizens are betting on sporting events and enjoying the latest games – like bingo scratch cards – and that trend shows no sign of slowing. We will look at the factors behind the expansion and attempt to understand the strategies being employed by the runners and riders in the race for online casino market share in Kenya.
Which games are popular?
One of the key catalysts behind the online casino sector’s growth and its expanding footprint in Africa is the sheer scale of games available for new and experienced players. At one end of the spectrum are the casual games, such as the bingo scratch card, which offers an instant experience and is accessible to all players. Meanwhile, more experienced players can go head-to-head with friends and strangers in intense games of poker.
Being able to cater to different categories of players is absolutely crucial and the range of games available will be apparent when visiting any modern online casino platform. This helps to ensure players keep coming back, whether they’re sticking to the same title or trying something new each time.
Which brands will prosper?
The African betting marketplace is made up of a mixture of established brands expanding their operations and new start-ups created specifically to engage with an African audience. Major betting brands have allocated large personnel resources to chasing this objective. The bigger players have the advantage of experience in the sector and a long history of producing games. Although the smaller start-ups can afford to specialize in a single marketplace and focus instead on developing or utilizing knowledge of local trends and habits.
In reality, it will likely be a mixture of the two categories of operators that succeed in the African marketplace. Some players in Kenya will recognize and respond to overseas brands, while others may choose to put their trust in a local operator with its roots on home turf.
What else needs to change?
Several changes have already taken place that has helped stimulate the growth of the online casino sector in Africa. For example, the proliferation of cheaper smartphones has helped connect Kenyans to the internet, its apps, and its services.
We expect these trends to continue, with Google recently launching ‘Lite’ versions of their apps to run on less powerful devices. More efficient browsing technology has also made it easier for lower-spec phones to run the latest casino games. As more Kenyans get their hands on smartphones, and as 3G, 4G, and even 5G coverage grow, online casino gaming will become a reality for millions. In truth, not much has to change, and for the most part, it is a simple case of allowing current trends to continue.
As we have shown, online casino gaming and games like bingo scratch cards are funneling growth in Kenya and the wider continent. And the evidence all around us appears to suggest that the sector will continue to grow from strength to strength in a new, lucrative marketplace.