Betsson Group currently sponsors two of Kenya's biggest football clubs, AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia
Betsson Group currently sponsors two of Kenya's biggest football clubs, AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia
Image: Betsson Group

The gambling industry has struck an unexpected goldmine in Kenya. It has been reported that gambling and online betting is set to reach a turnover of $50 million by the end of this year. As the Kenyan economy remains successful, the country's booming gaming industry attracts companies such as Betsson.

Betsson AB, one of the fastest growing online gaming companies, has indeed confirmed its intent to enter the Kenyan sports betting world. This announcement follows the joining of the forces of Betsson AB and Bet High Ltd., which led to the creation of Betsafe Kenya.

Kenya's online betting market continues to expand

Reports say that Kenya is one of the top three gaming markets in Africa, having skyrocketed the local betting industry to become a multi-million dollar business. There are currently 30 licensed betting companies and casinos in Kenya, providing access to lotteries, prize competitions, and sports betting.

In total, Kenya houses over 200 gaming tables in its many venues. Slot machines also make up a significant portion of the country-wide revenue, with over 1300 slot game machines being available and easily accessible.

Of all the aforementioned, sports betting is one of the most prevalent forms of gaming in Kenya. 

Sports betting in Kenya attracts online gaming companies

As sports gaming plays a key role in the entirety of the industry in Kenya, companies such as Betsson see strong prospects in the expanding market. There are around 30 sportsbooks with a license to operate within the country, producing an estimated revenue of around $2 million per year. Since the inception of the first sportsbook in Kenya — SportPesa, a firm that came to be in 2013 — the interest in sports betting has only gone up.

A large part of the reason why sports betting garners so much interest is the prevalence of mobile technology. Kenya's advancement in that regard has been one of the fastest ever recorded, with nearly 100% of the population now having access to a mobile device. Access to smartphones and tablets allowed Kenyan citizens to engage in online sports betting with much greater ease than before.

According to the statistics, 64% of mobile gaming enthusiasts own a smartphone, and only 40% own a standard phone. Those who own a smartphone have been shown to gamble with a regular frequency. Over 55% of sports gamblers who own a smartphone also gamble more than once a week. This contributes to the continuing growth of the Kenyan betting market.

The typical gamer — a profile

According to GeoPoll statistics, around 70% of gamblers are male. The average player falls into the 25-34 age bracket.

Kenyans have a strong affinity for sports, particularly football — and unsurprisingly, football dominates the betting scene. The gamblers often have a strong interest in European football leagues, such as La Liga and the Premier League. The love for football purges a lot of the stigma associated with gaming.

Betsson, Bet High, and Betsafe are getting ready to launch in Kenya

Betsson's joint venture with Bet High has resulted in the development of Betsafe Kenya. The new firm is set to be financed by Betsson in full, and also provides the technology platforms and tech support needed to operate the brand. 

Kenya's online gambling market fits the profile of Betsson and Bet High completely. With a high interest in online gambling, a particular love for sports, and the ever-growing mobile access, the troubled country presents an opportunity for rapid growth.

Doors toward the Kenyan sports betting industry are further opened by Betsson's of two football clubs from Nairobi, the AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia. Well-received by both the media and the locals, this sponsorship cemented the plans the company has for its Kenyan expansion.

Companies like Betsson are slowly finding unprecedented interest in the ever-changing, ever-growing Kenyan casino & gambling markets, and if previous growth is anything to go by, Betsson, the investment might prove to be solid.