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Home Tech Gambling Industry in Kenya: What You Need to Know

Gambling Industry in Kenya: What You Need to Know

by James Musoba
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Kenya is one of the African countries that has legalized all forms of gambling. If you wish, you can try your luck at a casino game or sports bet right now and use a free bonus kenya for both. Moreover, more legal regulations are planned to regulate the gambling industry in the near future: Kenya alone can set an example for other African countries.

I believe Kenya’s regulations on legal gambling will inspire other countries in Africa as well,” says Casino Bonuses Finder product owner Tony Sloterman. “Regulated gambling is always better and Kenya can be the flag carrier of it.” Below, we will provide information about Kenya’s gambling laws and talk about the future of this industry in this country.

What happened so far

Kenya is among the first African countries to legalize gambling. The Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act of 1996 legalized all forms of gambling, regardless of online or offline. This meant that casino games, sports betting and racetracks became legal all over the country. An agency called “Betting Control and Licensing Board” was established, and licenses began to be given to operators who wanted to provide gambling services. In its simplest form, every operator who obtained a license from this agency has the right to legally offer gambling services.

Since then, close to 50 gambling establishments have opened in Kenya, most of them bookmakers. The gambling market is thought to be around $40 million in size, and close to 60 percent of the population have tried their luck at casino games or sports betting at least once. 10% of the population gamble on a daily basis. The spread of the Internet increases these numbers gradually and causes online gambling to become more popular: Kenya is one of the rare African countries with a high-speed internet infrastructure.

The future of the gambling industry

There will be more regulation in the future of the gambling industry in Kenya. To tell the truth, the 1996 law contains very simple provisions and does not give clear information on many issues. For example, there are no different terms for online gambling, whereas online and offline licenses are subject to completely different procedures. In addition, it is possible to say that the 1996 law was somewhat hostile towards overseas operators. That’s why we don’t see foreign brands in the Kenyan gambling market, despite the impressive sector numbers.

All this could change in the near future. The Gaming Bill, prepared in 2019, clearly distinguishes between online and offline gambling and contains different provisions for both. In addition, it brings many new regulations on taxes and advertising. For example, online gambling could not be taxed until now due to the lack of legal infrastructure, but this will change. In the draft law, the tax on licensed operators is reduced, while the tax rate on players and bettors is increased. This is a regulation that will encourage new operators to enter the market.

For the same reason, we may see more foreign operators in the local market. This law will set an example for other African countries that want to legalize gambling but do not know how to start. It’s unclear when the law will take effect: a second reading was planned for November 2019, but the pandemic changed all plans. We expect it to become active within the first six months of 2023, but of course, this is just a guess.

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