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Gambling Laws – Kenya

Gambling is a billion-dollar industry that is widely practiced around the world. However, every gambling platform or venue must abide by the laws of the hosting country before they provide any services to the people. Kenya is one of the countries where gambling is largely practiced by people of all classes and genders – rich and poor, young and old, men and women. Our comprehensive article covers everything you need to know about the state of gambling in Kenya before you venture into the business.

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Local Gambling Laws

Generally, gambling is a legal activity in Kenya and is fully regulated by the government. Like any other country, there are laws that have been implemented to ensure that all gamblers are protected from exploitation by the sportsbooks. As one of the first African countries to legalize gambling, Kenya boasts of hosting some of the best land-based casinos and betting shops. The gambling venues are spread in various parts of the country and are known to host both locals and tourists. Nonetheless, sports betting is more popular compared to casino gambling. Before providing services to Kenyans, all operators must have physical offices in the country. Furthermore, gambling operators willing to invest in Kenya must pay a KES 1million to acquire a license from the Betting Control and License Control Board (BCLB). Also, there is a renewal fee that will be charged after 3 years. 

gambling laws

Gambling Situation and Views on Gambling in Kenya

As earlier mentioned, gambling is a part of the Kenyan culture. As a fact, gambling is discussed and practiced almost everywhere, in buses, trains, work, and other common areas. The Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act of 1966 was the body in charge until 2013 when a new law was passed to accommodate betting websites. The only downside of this law was that it did not include the iGaming industry. Thus, unregulated online gambling leads to the implementation of a new law in 2019 that includes all forms of gambling in the license. Today, all winnings from the lottery, gaming, and betting are subject to 15% tax. Moreover, there are many gambling websites that are now offering sports and casino games at the same time. The demand for these platforms is quite high as many Kenyans are now understanding how casino games work. 

Online Gambling in Kenya

Kenya is considered one of the fastest-growing online gambling markets in the African continent. There are many forms of online gambling activities that Kenyans participate in. This ranges from playing online casino games like slots and table games to betting of different types of sports, including football, basketball, politics, politics, and many others. Let’s look at some of the main online gambling activities in Kenya at the moment.

Online Casino Gaming

Online casino gaming is spread in Kenya at an extremely high rate. This has been contributed by the availability of many online casino sites that are fully regulated by the government. Moreover, the casinos offer games that you can play in free mode or for real money. Also, these games are optimized to be compatible with mobile devices as well as personal computers. The most popular games that are played include online slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, and many others.

Online Lottery

Like casino gaming, the online lottery is very popular in Kenya. It is broadcasted on local TV stations and aired on radios from time to time. The law behind online lottery was modified from the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act of 2016. This act makes all lotto and online lotteries legal in the country.

Online Sports Betting

Sports betting is the most popular online gambling activity in the country. However, every sportsbook operator must abide by the Betting Control and Licensing Board laws before they can offer services. There are tons of sportsbooks that offer betting markets on both international leagues and local leagues in the country. In addition, many operators are sponsoring local teams and nurturing young and potential talents. Though football is the most popular sport when it comes to betting in Kenya, there are other popular sports, including volleyball, basketball, boxing, tennis, cricket, hockey, rugby, and many others.

Online Bingo

Bingo is another popular sport that is liked by Kenyan punters. The game is very simple to play and allows you to win real money. At the moment, bingo is not regulated in the Kenyan market because it is not mentioned anywhere in the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

Even though these games are not very common among Kenyans, their popularity is spreading widely. These games are loved because they offer a thrilling experience. Usually, these games are found on leading sports betting websites. Other than the local sites offering DFS, there are offshore platforms that accept Kenyan punters to play for real money.

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Conclusion

Generally, Kenya is ranked when it comes to online gambling, compared to other neighboring countries. This does not come as a surprise because gambling has been legal in the country since 1969. Though there have been some changes in the gambling laws to regulate how it works, the future of the industry is bright. There are many local websites as well as international operators that are accepting Kenyan punters. One of the advantages of legalizing and regulating gambling activities is that it boosts the annual revenue. Also, it is a great source of employment, especially the betting shops that are located in all towns and markets in the country.

FAQ

Yes, gambling is a legal activity in Kenya and is regulated by the government.

Many gambling sites in Kenya accept the local KES currency.

Yes, mobile betting is accepted in Kenya.

There many types of sports that are offered by the Kenyan betting sites, including football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, and many others.

Bingo is not regulated in the Kenyan market yet, but yes it’s legal.