As a sports-loving nation, it’s only natural that Kenyans also love betting on games.

From football to rugby and cricket, there are many opportunities for sports fans to place real money wagers.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at why Kenyans love sports betting and how it affects the sports-watching experience.

We’ll also touch on the legality of sports betting and how the government is handling concerns about responsible gambling.

Sports betting regulations in Kenya

The Kenyan Government allows sports betting for anyone 18 years old and above. The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) regulates sports betting. If any of the top bookmakers in the world want to operate in Kenya, they need to get a license from BCLB. They’ll also be regulated by BCLB.

Tax laws are in place to ensure that the government also earns revenue from legal sports wagering. All sports betting operators in the country need to pay a 20% tax on all winnings. Further, winners need to pay taxes on their winnings as well.

A popular pastime

The thriving sports betting culture has been alive for many decades in Kenya. Millions of people place bets at a physical location, online on various websites, and via mobile apps. Billions of shillings are generated every year from betting on sports alone. Therefore, sports betting is one of the biggest forms of entertainment in Kenya.

Since the early 2000s, both men and women have been looking for ways to place wagers on sports games.

Local and international operators such as Betway, Betin, SportPesa, and more have been providing safe and secure platforms for bettors.

In addition, the growth in popularity of sports such as football, and in particular, the English Premier League, has made betting even more common. Betting forms a big part of the experience of watching their favourite sports teams play every weekend.

Reasons behind the growth of sports betting in Kenya

The thriving betting culture in the east African country has several reasons behind it. Some have to do with accessibility, while others are just simply looking for diversity in how they enjoy sports.


There are several options available when it comes to sports betting. As mentioned earlier, one can place wagers at a physical location or online. Those watching a game at a sports bar can easily place bets at the same time.

In addition, access to smartphones and fast internet makes it easy to bet online or through apps. Whether you’re on the move or relaxing at home, placing bets is quick and easy for the people of Kenya.

Heavy marketing and advertising

From celebrity endorsements to sports team sponsorships, betting companies have done a great job of

making their products well-known. There are rules around how and where betting operators can advertise.

However, they work around to reach their target audience.

Mobile money transfer services

There are several easy payment methods for people placing bets online. Local payment options, such as M-Pesa, work closely with betting operators to make transactions quick and easy. So, both making a deposit and withdrawing are quick, easy, and low-cost.

The contribution of unemployment

Unfortunately, Kenya’s high unemployment rate contributes to the thriving sports betting industry. Many young Kenyans see sports betting as an opportunity to earn money. As such, many are willing to take the risk.

Fighting illegal gambling

The Kenyan government implements strict laws and regulations on sports betting. As mentioned earlier, all operators need to have a license from the BCLB. They also need to pay their taxes. There are also limitations to advertising gambling services to avoid illegal operators from getting “visibility”.

Additionally, betting addiction is a serious problem that requires the cooperation of the sportsbooks, the government, and the community as a whole.

In a country with a high unemployment rate, education about responsible gambling is necessary. Information on how to get help for addiction and things to keep in mind when betting is readily available in Kenya.

These regulations help to ensure that bettors are working with legitimate and secure betting providers. The government encourages responsible gambling and uses some of the funds from taxes to fight betting addiction.

At the end of the day, as long as sports remain popular in Kenya, people will continue to bet. The Kenyan government works closely with betting providers to ensure that people have a safe and secure place to wager and enjoy this exciting pastime.