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Just like Kenyans are die-hard sports fans, the country also has millions of unrelenting sports betting enthusiasts. With sports betting being a popular pastime across the globe, it was only a matter of time till it became a mainstream activity in Kenya thanks to easy internet access and the attraction to new cultures.

Sports betting allows players to wager on different sports offerings for a chance to walk away with real money prizes if the player’s bet(s) wins. Most Kenyans have embraced sports betting, with some individuals relying on it as a source of income. Continue reading to explore the legality of sports betting and how you can participate in it in Kenya.

The short answer is yes. Sports betting is legal in Kenya. It is worth highlighting that all forms of gambling are legal in Kenya as long as the participants adhere to the country’s gambling guidelines. Also, note that all the country’s betting/gaming laws stem from the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act, 1966.

All gambling activities in Kenya –sports betting included– should take place following the guidelines from BCLB (Betting Control And Licensing Board), the official oversight body that regulates betting and gaming in Kenya. BCLB’s main objectives include;

  1. Monitoring and inspecting gaming and betting activities
  2. Performing random (unannounced) checks of betting, gaming, and lottery operations countrywide
  3. Conducting all prize competition and public lottery draws

You might find this hard to believe but Kenya is one of the countries with the highest number of sports gamblers in Africa. So how do these players access their go-to platforms or wager on their favorite sports?

Computers

You will find many sports betting enthusiasts glued to computer screens while placing bets on local bookmakers when you visit a local cyber cafe on a Friday or over the weekend. While many players don’t own desktops or laptops, access to computers through cyber/internet cafes is common in Kenya.

Mobile Devices

Most Kenyans own mobile phones. Smartphone penetration is also high in the country. For this reason, most sports gambling fans in the country access and place bets on online bookmakers using smartphones. Also, note that some players wager on sports offers via USSD, especially if their mobile devices aren’t internet enabled.

Betting Shops

There was a time that betting shops were commonplace in neighbourhoods, towns, and cities in Kenya. These establishments still exist, but their numbers have reduced. Nevertheless, many players in Kenya visit betting shops across the country to enjoy sports betting.

The sports betting scene in Kenya keeps getting better each year thanks to the addition of new casino features and betting markets. Below are some of the latest trends you will enjoy on top bookmakers in Kenya.

Live Streaming

Imagine never missing out on your favorite derbies, duels, and football clashes. With live streaming, you can do more than imagine. You can be part of the action as you stream your favorite matches via your mobile device or computer.

Esports

With esports, players can wager on the outcome of esports competitions. Note that esports are video games like FIFA, GTA, NFS, NBA, Mortal Kombat, or Gran Turismo. There are different top sportsbooks in Kenya that offer excellent local and international esports betting markets.

Virtual Sports

You don’t have to wait for the weekend to wager on EPL, LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1, or Bundesliga matches. Virtual sports allows players to bet on their favorite sports 24/7.

Cashouts

Some betting platforms give players the chance to settle their bets early. For instance if you bet on the home team to win by full-time, you can opt to cash out the bet at half time and walk away with a fraction of your anticipated winnings.

How to Register at Kenya Online Casinos

Gamers will find several reputable i-gaming operators on sites such as BettingGuide.com. These betting sites offer 1000’s of sports betting markets in Kenya. Note that some of these sites are locally-owned brands while others are internally renowned operators. Below is a guide to help you with account registration on local and international bookmakers in kenya;

Step-By-Step Guide For Registering On Kenyan-Based Sports Betting Companies

  1. Visit the bookmaker’s official site
  2. Find and tap the Sign Up, Register, or Join buttons
  3. Provide your mobile number and/or email address
  4. Enter a promo code if you have any
  5. Accept the T&Cs if you are over 18-years old
  6. Tap the Register to finalize account registration

Step-By-Step Guide For Registering On International Casinos Operating In Kenya

  1. Visit the operator’s official page and click/tap the Sign Up button
  2. Create a username and password
  3. Enter your details on the registration form
  4. Enter your promo code
  5. Accept T&Cs if you are at least 18-years old
  6. Tap the Register button

Recent Government Policies That Affect Sports Betting

In 2018, the government introduced new gambling laws such as the 20% turnover tax and reduced the gross gaming revenue from 35% to 15%. These policies reduced the profits gaming companies remit to KRA by 20% while reduced a player’s winnings by 20%. It is evident that the gamers were the biggest losers, and this explains why players in kenya are switching to international bookmakers.

The 2018 gambling laws have been revised and implemented through the 2021 Finance Bill. The government has reduced the turnover tax from 20% to 7.5%. As a result, players can expect to walk away with lucrative winnings. It is worth highlighting that sports betting companies haven’t reverted to the 7.5% turnover tax despite the new gambling laws going into effect on July 1st 2021.

Final Word On The Sports Betting Situation In Kenya

Gambling –at online or retail casinos– is legal in Kenya. The country’s gaming legislation allows players to indulge in all forms of gambling. What’s more, sports betting enjoys a lot of popularity with players in kenya. And all platforms that offer sports betting markets in the country require a BCLB license. Individuals who are interested in sports betting can visit BCLB’s official site and select a casino operator or bookmaker that meets their preferences.

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