History Of Gambling In Kenya

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Kenya has one of the largest African gambling markets. Many people are surprised that a developing country is such a massive part of the industry. Let’s talk about the history and how it got where it’s at today.


Kenya established its gambling laws in 1966 through the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act of the United Kingdom. The government created the Betting Control and Licensing Board (KBCLB) to handle regulation. Land-based casinos began opening in major cities, with a total of 30 overall.

Kenya’s Current Gambling Market

Experts have estimated Kenya’s gambling market is worth $40 million today. It’s the third-largest when it comes to Sub-Saharan Africa. Kenyan youth spend more money gambling on average compared to other African countries.

Kenyan players can play at physical locations or take advantage of foreign casinos. Several out-of-country establishments accept them. With so many options available, it’s helpful that sites like casinos-online.co.ke provides lists of the best ones.

How Their Market Grew

Speedy Internet Connection

Some reports show Kenya has faster internet speeds than the US. The country ranks 14th in the world, at 13.7 megabits per second.

Few African countries have a speedy connection, which puts Kenya ahead of the game in these markets. Plus, Kenya has more users at a 43% penetration rate. Most of these people access the internet from their phones, which is a fantastic way to access online casinos.

Sports Betting

Betting on football is incredibly popular in Africa. Kenya has 30 sportsbooks with an estimated combined revenue of $2 billion. By taking advantage of the sport’s popularity, the country has extensively helped its gambling industry.

Mobile Money Services

Kenyans use a mobile money service called M-Pesa. To make a deposit or get cash, they go on the app and make a request.  Then an agent brings their money or picks up their deposit. They can also use M-Pesa for cashless transactions.

A lot of Africa’s economy is cash-based, and credit cards are rare in some areas. Plus, many citizens live far away from banks and don’t even have an account. M-Pesa allows people to make deposits that can then be transferred to bookmakers and casinos.

This service increased the customer base for online gambling establishments. Kenyans can make deposits and withdrawals on online sites despite the issues with the cash-based system.

Kenya’s Legal Situation

Kenyans can legally gamble in the country and play at Kenya-based and foreign casinos and sportsbooks online. The Kenyan Betting Control and Licensing Board is the government’s betting regulatory body which authorizes lotteries and gambling activities. They license sports betting and casino providers. They do not operate like Norway, where the state tightly controls services and only allows two companies to do business, instead Kenya allows many companies to be active once they have been lawfully permitted.


Kenya has grown its market with sports betting and fast internet, but, importantly, they formed a regulatory board who are open to granting licenses to foreign and domestic companies, which allows the market to grow and continue to be as healthy and fair as possible for consumers.

Technologies That Changed The Image Of The Gaming Industry

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