Most Popular eSports Bookies in Kenya

Kenya is a market with a lot of potential, but economic success in the region needs care and a well-thought-out business plan. Even though sports betting is the most popular form of gambling in the industry, operators looking to expand into this region should take a multi-faceted approach and provide other online casino games as well as betting alternatives. Close to 50% of the 55 million population is connected to the internet and open to esports betting. The mobile phone is the most popular device used for internet access.

Offshore firms benefit as well because they are not currently taxed or regulated. For a licensed company, expanding to Kenya has a minimal opportunity cost. The best eSports betting sites in Kenya include Betway, Melbet, and 22bet.

Most Popular eSports Bookies in Kenya

Choosing a payment method that will function properly in the location is also critical to success. Consumers must deposit money and conveniently withdraw winnings. Overall, the market is shifting away from being primarily land-based and toward being primarily online, and numerous operators throughout the world are capitalizing on this trend. On the other hand, entering a new market is no simple undertaking. Melbet and local provider, Betika, are among the popular Kenya esports betting sites.

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History of esports in Kenya

History of esports in Kenya

Kenya's gambling regulations were enacted in 1966. The Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act of the United Kingdom was used to accomplish this. The Betting Control and Licensing Board (KBC LB) was established under the bill at that time. The main goal of the Betting Control and Licensing Board (KBCLB) was to make sure that all types of gambling were legal in Kenya.

However, the bill did not expressly state that online gambling was permitted in Kenya. Kenya's first online gambling operator, a state-owned monopoly, was established in 2011. The site, which went by the name of betkenya.com, eventually shut down. Since then, the legal status of online gambling has remained ambiguous. Kenyan punters began looking for opportunities to bet on overseas sportsbooks.

History of esports in Kenya
What changed in history to nowadays?

What changed in history to nowadays?

SportPesa, the premier local online esportsbook, launched in 2013 after gaining a BCLB operating license. SportPesa was the only local online bookie at the time, so it attracted a lot of Kenyan punters. Foreign enterprises took advantage of the BCLB's latitude to secure licenses, and a flood of online betting sites flooded the country.

Following the 2010 constitutional review, a slew of new laws was implemented, dramatically altering the gaming environment. The majority of the modifications only apply to brick-and-mortar casinos, leaving online casinos mostly unaffected. Following the bill's passage, land-based casinos began to open in all major cities around the country, eventually reaching a total of 30 casinos.

Mobile betting and payments

Kenyans use mobile money services a lot. They request the app on their phones to make a deposit or withdraw cash. A mobile money agent then receives a notification and completes the transaction. They can also make cashless transactions with M-Pesa. The African economy is mainly focused on cash, and credit cards are uncommon in some areas.

Furthermore, many residents live far from banks, and some do not have a bank account. People can use M-Pesa to make deposits that can be transferred to bookies and casinos. As a result, customers for online gaming enterprises rose due to this service. Despite the problems with the cash-based system, Kenyans can make deposits and withdrawals on online platforms.

What changed in history to nowadays?
Esports nowadays in Kenya

Esports nowadays in Kenya

As previously stated, the Kenyan gaming market is enormous. The market was predicted to be worth $40 million in 2020. It continued to develop significantly in 2021. Kenya ranks third in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of market size, behind South Africa and Nigeria.

Despite having the third-largest market in terms of size, it has the highest number of gamblers in the region, particularly among the young. This suggests that young Kenyans spend significantly more money on gaming than other young Africans.

Sports betting is currently the most prevalent form of betting in Kenya, but other forms of gambling are also available. Naturally, football is the most popular sport in Kenya, as it is in many other African countries. Because of football's popularity, the esports disciplines of FIFA and PES are most popular among esports bettors. The practice of eSports betting in Kenya has been on an upward trajectory for the last half-decade.

Esports nowadays in Kenya
Future of esports in Kenya

Future of esports in Kenya

Kenya is an African leader in the internet game, with a penetration rate of about 43% and most people accessing the internet on their phones. The fact that most Kenyans use mobile money services is further proof that Kenya deserves its place in the market. Kenya's most popular mobile money service, M-Pesa, allows Kenyans to make requests for cash deposits or withdrawals at any time.

Kenyans also utilize M-Pesa for cashless transactions, which proved to be especially handy since the onset of the pandemic. Aside from mobile money choices, Kenya's economy is still largely cash-based, which means that credit cards are rarely used. Kenyans can, of course, use M-Pesa to make deposits and withdraw wins from both online and land-based casinos fast and conveniently.

Is Kenya moving in the direction of legalization or away from it?

Despite regularly cracking down on esports betting sites, the country is moving towards legalization. The betting industry in Kenya continues to thrive, and the government wants to tap into the revenue available. Therefore, they are issuing licenses to esports providers who meet these requirements.

Future of esports in Kenya
Betting acts in Kenya

Betting acts in Kenya

The Data Protection Act of 2019

This law regulates the processing of personal data by gambling companies and protects the rights of data subjects. The functions of data controllers and processors are likewise governed by it. The law sets rules for how gambling companies can get personal information from their customers.

The government suggested a new measure in 2019 called the New Gambling Act of 2020 to safeguard young gamblers and evaluate betting-related taxes. The bill proposed a 35 percent tax on gambling marketing while keeping the jackpot winnings tax at 20 percent. It also proposed raising gambling license costs from Ksh 50 million ($437062.94) to Ksh 100 million for online gambling companies and Ksh 100 million (874125.87) for land-based gambling sites.

The BCLB was intended to be replaced by a new regulating entity, the National Gaming Authority of Kenya, under the new Gambling Act of 2020. It also proposes the creation of a Gaming Appeals Tribunal to assist in the resolution of gambling-related disputes. The government increased gambling taxes to 35% in 2018 but then decreased them to 15%.

The 2020 Act promises to keep the 15% tax rate, although it does not refer to the previous 20% tax on gamblers' gains.

Betting acts in Kenya
Kenyan players' favorite esport games

Kenyan players' favorite esport games

FIFA has grown to become one of the most popular console games in the world, with a thriving eSports market. On a professional basis, FIFA esports features teams from many of the world's best football teams. Kenyan punters love placing stakes on this title.

NBA2K has become a prominent eSport on the tournament circuit in recent years. Its prominence in the console gaming market (at least in the United States and Canada), as well as its resemblance to a real-world sport, have made it a favorite pick among esports bettors in Kenya. Because gambling markets already exist for their real-world counterparts, NBA2K and other games based on real-world sports have a significant advantage over other games, such as first-person shooters.

Among Kenyan gamblers, these two games are the most well-known esports titles. Punters are learning to wager on other games such as Call of Duty and League of Legends, among others, thanks to the present growth in internet connectivity. These adventure games are gradually captivating gamers and have the potential to become massive.

Kenyan players' favorite esport games
Payment methods in Kenya

Payment methods in Kenya

M-Pesa is the most common deposit method in Kenya. M-Pesa is used to pay for a wide range of expenses, including power, water, shopping, and, of course, betting. Any betting site that does not accept M-Pesa is unprepared to do business in Kenya!

M-Pesa is a popular mobile payment method in Kenya, and it is extensively accepted in online casinos that cater to the Kenyan gambling market. To use M-Pesa, players don't need a bank account or access to the internet.

Instead, one can send and receive money in seconds while on the road if they have funds in their mobile wallet. M-Pesa Paybill is a service that allows users to transfer money straight from their mobile wallet to the casino account at online casinos that accept M-Pesa. While M-Pesa is the most popular payment method, Airtel Money, e-wallets, and card deposits are also available.

Currency and alternative payment methods

Players can play at several online esports betting sites with Kenyan shillings. However, they should check various evaluations to determine if this is possible before signing up. If not, most Kenyans choose to play in US dollars, British pounds, or Euros. There may be minimal fees associated with currency conversion.

Some Kenyans choose to deposit and withdraw money using their credit or debit cards since they are extremely convenient and secure. PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller are some of the most popular e-wallets.

Payment methods in Kenya
FAQ

FAQ

Can players from Kenya wager on international esports betting providers?

Kenyan punters are not prohibited from playing with international esports betting providers. However, some sites may make it challenging for players to create and verify their accounts. Thus, players should do enough research before choosing their betting site.

Is esports betting popular in Kenya?

Esports betting is not as popular as compared to actual sports in the country. However, over the past few years, there has been a rising number of punters wagering on esports. The easily accessible internet has been a key enabler.

Is esports betting legal in Kenya?

Esports betting is legal, just like any other real game.

Do esports betting sites give bonuses to Kenyan players?

The majority of esports betting sites give bonuses to their Kenyan customers. These may be in the form of a welcome bonus, cashback bonus, or even boosted odds when wagering.

What is the popular payment method for e-sports betting sites in Kenya?

Mpesa is undoubtedly the most popular and widely used payment method on esports betting sites among Kenyans. The service is provided by a popular telco that has a market share of over half of the population.

FAQ