Which are the TOP bookmakers in Kenya and where to bet safely?
If you are wondering which betting website to choose for your play, you can take a look at our detailed table below. The list includes the most reputable bookmakers that currently operate in the country.
- Population: Based on the latest estimates of the World Bank, Kenya has a population of more than 49 million. Kenya’s population is 0.68% of the world population and ranks 27th in the list of countries by population.
- Active Players: Around 7 million Kenyans are active players, and a significant number of this include young gamblers. This puts Kenya as one of the largest gambling markets in Africa.
- Currency: The currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling. Its currency code is KES, and its currency symbol is KSh. The Kenyan Shilling replaced the East African Shilling which Kenyan used as currency in 1966.
- Regulated Gambling Products: The gambling laws in Kenya were established in the year 1966, introducing the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act. The types of gambling that are considered legal in Kenya are casino betting, sports betting, and horserace betting. Table games, Bingo, Poker, Slots, and Lotteries are also legal and are widely played by many gamblers across Kenya.
- Operator Types: The authority of the Betting Control and Licensing Board allows for the gambling operations of casino, sportsbook, and poker companies.
- Designated Authority: The Betting Control and Licensing Board is a body of the state that is tasked to safeguard businesses, exercise legal control over licensed companies, and eradicate all forms of illegal gambling activities.
- Status: The gambling industry in Kenya is substantially growing. According to the 2017-2021 report shared by PWC, the annual turnover of the Kenyan sports betting industry is worth $20 million, and it is expected to reach more or less than $50 million in the year 2020 as the demand continues to grow.
Top 4 Foreign Bookmakers in Kenya
The brand 888sport and all of the connected platforms – 888Casino, 888Poker are a subsidiary of the 888 Holdings, the award-winning company. It is based in Gibraltar, and it is part of the betting integrity body of Europe. It has been around in the industry since 1997, and through the years, it has established itself as one of the best online gaming and gambling providers on the internet.
888sport’s official website has made multiple betting sections available for players; namely, Casino, Poker, Sport, and Bingo. For sports betting, the sportsbook offers a variety of sports and sports matches for players to choose from. You can even opt for live betting if you want to bet as the event goes on.
This sportsbook is a great platform. It offers a legion of betting options and great promotions. However, it does not offer much when it comes to the odds.
22bet is an online platform established in 2017. It is maintained by the Marikit Holdings Limited and is licensed by the Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority. Its betting sections include Sports, In-Play, Live Casino, Casino, and Live Games. It offers a wide range of betting options for the sports section, and it displays an abundant selection of casino games. Players can bet on the most famous sports markets, including Football, Tennis, Basketball, and more. Players can even participate in unique betting events such as Politics, Celebrities, and World News.
With its team of oddsmakers, 22bet has made its odds special and unconventional for players. There are Decimal odds as well as country-based ones such as the US, UK, Hong Kong, Malaysian, and Indonesian odds. There are a lot of things that 22bet can offer. Although some players think its customer support can be improved, many gamblers, especially those from Kenya, still choose to opt for it.
Founded in 2018, BetWinner is still young in the industry when compared to other bookmakers. Nevertheless, the betting company has managed to earn more than 400,000 active users online and has been legally operating under a license by the government of Curacao. They offer major betting sections, including Sports, Live, Casino, Games, Virtual Sports, TV Games, Bingo, Toto, Poker, and Extra which includes Lottery Games. As for the sportsbook, there is a long list of sports markets for players to bet on, and there are heaps of conventional and unconventional betting options; namely, handicap betting, the first team to score, double chance, 2-way special, 3-way, draw no bet, and more.
As for the odds, they are significantly high at BetWinner, so you can get good chances of winning every time. There are really a lot of great things about BetWinner. The only disadvantage it has is that it’s still not very exposed in the industry as it was founded just recently. Still, this does not change the fact that it does not disappoint Kenyan gamblers as it is one of the leading betting sites in the country.
As you may have noticed, the gambling market in Kenya experienced fast growth in the past few years. One of the main signs for this is the entrance of well-known brands on the market. One of these companies is Betway, which was founded in 2012 and was very popular among Kenyans almost ever since. The company received a license in 2019 and started to build customised betting options and promotions for its Kenyan players.
You will find a premium Sportsbook and a superb Casino section. The in-play section will impress the experienced players, as it offers all the essential features such as cash-out and live-streaming.
Along with its generous sports welcome offer, Betway has other interesting bonuses to offer to its Kenyan customers.
Important Things to Know About Betting Sites in Kenya
- Betting Environment
Home to about 49 million citizens, the nation of Kenya has the most abundant economy in the region with a number of successful industries, including the agricultural exports of coffee and tea, the thriving service sector, and the major commercial hub of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.
Although Kenya cannot be considered as a first-world country as of its current state, the country somehow enjoys higher standards of living, and this can be seen in Kenyans’ love for sports and sports betting. This is the reason why Kenya is such a great betting environment not only for the citizens but also for bookmakers.
According to recent estimates, the annual turnover of Kenya betting sites reaches up to $20 million, and the number is even expected to rise in the coming years. And with the popularity of mobile betting in Kenya and other parts of the world, it is likely that the country will continue to be one of the richest gambling markets in Africa.
As of GeoPoll’s survey, out of the total population of age 18+ Kenyans, 57% have been into gambling. This shows just how much of the population of Kenya participates in gambling. Because the demand is high, the competition among local and international betting companies has also become stiff. For this reason, choosing the best betting company in Kenya can be a real challenge for any gambler.
The Betting Control and Licensing Board does its best to regulate players’ gambling activities across the country, but because of the prevalence of online betting, with international and Kenyan apps making casino gaming and live sports betting more accessible, BCLB’s attempts didn’t match the authority’s expectations.
The gambling laws in Kenya are outlined in the 1966 Betting Lotteries, and Gaming Act and the Act appointed the Betting Control and Licensing Board in charge of the administrative duties concerning gaming and gambling in both national and international levels. The BCLB is the body that issues Kenya license, imposes the betting tax in Kenya, and puts limits on players’ gambling activities.
- Active players
There are about 7 million active Kenyan players, and most of these players are young adults. The most active gambling city in Kenya is Nairobi. It has 18 gaming and gambling facilities, 908 gaming machines, and 128 table games.
- Key info for players in Kenya
Most of the gambling activities in Kenya are under government monopoly. The gambling scene in Kenya started to exploded with the emergence of the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act. Before the introduction of the Act, all forms of gambling were considered illegal.
The Act appointed a regulatory body, the Betting Control and Licensing Board, which is responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the gambling scene in all regions of the country. While gambling is fairly regulated in Kenya, its approach to online gaming appears to be relatively relaxed. Compared to South Africa, which demands penalties of up to 10,000 rands for players caught gaming online, the Kenyan regulatory body does not use the same level of an authoritarian approach.
If you’re a player in Kenya, you’re free to play and bet on any of your favourite games and sports events. A significant number of Kenyan players bet on games provided by UK operators as many trust these gaming events as they’re regulated by the Gambling Commission.
- Gambling taxes and players’ safety
The Kenya Revenue Authority taxes the winnings of players from successful bets. Following the law, Kenyan betting companies must withhold winnings of 20%. This means that if you win an amount of Ksh 50,000, you will only receive Ksh 40,000. The betting company withholds the Ksh 10,000, and the amount is remitted to KRA.
The players’ safety in gambling in Kenya is secured by the BCLB. The gambling regulatory body regulates all gambling activities and gets rid of companies operating illegally.
Sports Betting in Kenya: An Overview – How we choose the best betting sites?
Since there’s a legion of betting companies made available for Kenyan players on the internet, it can be a challenge to choose the best betting sites. Here are the things to consider when searching for the best betting websites online:
- Security: This is the most important factor that the betting site you’re using must-have. Naturally, you want to go for betting sites that can provide you with maximum protection. Go for websites that are operated and regulated by leading jurisdictional groups like the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission.
- Betting Markets: When it comes to betting, it’s more practical to have more options. With this in mind, choose bookmakers that offer a large selection of betting markets across the globe.
- Bonuses and Promotions: There are many different forms of bonuses. When selecting the best betting site, opt for those that offer generous free bet amounts with player-friendly terms and conditions.
What Kind of Odds Format Is Used in Kenya?
There are many different kinds of formats for betting odds. There are Decimal, Fractional, Percentage, and American odds. The most commonly used odds format in Kenya is Decimal.
Available Betting Markets in Most Bookmakers
Because there are heaps of local and international betting sites accessible for Kenyans, the available betting markets are vast. While Football remains to be the top sports betting market for most bookmakers, other popular sports like Basketball, Hockey, Tennis rules, and more are also widely available. There is also a wide variety of wagering options to choose from, including handicap betting, matched betting, the first team to score, double chance, 2-way special, 3-way, draw no bet, and more.
With online betting made more and more easily available for Kenyans, bookmakers make every effort to improve players’ user experience on their platform. Different bookies now offer different features to lure new customers into their website. You’ll even find quite a lot of websites that also offer a mobile app and mobile site version to cater to mobile users. Generally, though, most online casino and sports betting websites in Kenya are on a par with high-profile websites in the UK.
Bonuses and Promotions for players in Kenya
Thanks to the easy access provided by the internet, players from Kenya can now join Europe’s bookmaking websites and thus take part in their innovative international special offers and bonuses.
Most Europe-based betting websites offer sign-up welcome offers, percentage matching bonuses, and free bonus funds in the form of Free Bets. All these amazing promotional bonuses are available for Kenyan players just as much as they’re available for the players in Europe and other parts of the world.
Live Betting, Live Streaming & Cash-Out Features
While live streaming and cash out features are not available for all betting websites in Kenya, live betting is something that is common and is widely offered by most if not all bookmakers in and outside of Kenya. Since most players love to bet real-time on their favourite sports, many bookmakers made in-play betting available. The cash-out feature is closely associated with live betting. Some bookmakers offer full cash out or partial cash out options while others do not offer such a feature at all.
Online Casinos in Kenya
With the introduction of the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act in 1966 and the establishment of the Betting Control and Licensing Board, online casinos and sportsbooks have become legal in Kenya. While the BCLB regulates all gambling activities in the country, the country still appears to have kept the channels open for Kenyan citizens to access foreign gambling operators. As long as they have a license to operate, they’re left widely accessible by the authority.
Available Methods for Withdrawals and Deposits
Kenyan players can enjoy a massive variety of transaction methods with the industry’s international bookmakers. Many bookmakers accept a variety of international currencies. However, due to political and economic reasons, only a few betting sites accept the Kenyan shilling.
The most common deposit and withdrawal options available for Kenyan players include e-wallets like NETeller, Skrill and several others, debit/credit cards like Visa Electron, Maestro, Mastercard, and Visa, and bank transfers.
Mobile Betting and Betting Apps
Mobile betting has become a trend in the gambling industry, and along with it comes the birth of mobile betting apps and mobile websites. Several local betting sites in Kenya offer these mobile platforms, but the best mobile access solutions can be found on international websites, especially those that come from Europe. Nevertheless, those betting sites that do not have mobile apps do offer mobile site versions, which is closely as convenient as the former.
Safety and Security
Players’ safety and financial security is secured by the BCLB and is backed by the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act of 1966. The gambling regulatory body regulates all gambling activities. To ensure your safety in gambling, choose your betting sites wisely and make sure you wager with a licensed betting company.
Is Customer Support good enough for players from Kenya?
The quality of the customer support differs in each betting website. Some may offer a great level of customer support, while others may need to make improvements in such aspect. Nevertheless, when you look at how Kenyans stick to online betting websites, you can say the customer support is good enough.
Is sports betting legal in Kenya?
Yes, it is. Sports betting and casino gaming are both legal in Kenya.
Which is the best betting site in Kenya?
888sport, 22bet, and BetWinner are the best betting websites in Kenya as for this review.
Which betting company gives the best odds for Kenyan players?
22bet gives the best odds for Kenyan players. They offer special odds as well as different odds formats such as Decimal, US, UK, Hong Kong, Malaysian, and Indonesian odds.
How do I start a betting site in Kenya?
You simply present your betting business to the Betting Control and Licensing Board and have the authority issue your company a license to operate offline or online with your betting website.
Is there a betting tax in Kenya?
Yes, there is. The Kenya Revenue Authority taxes the winnings of players from successful bets. Kenyan betting companies must withhold winnings of 20% and remit it to the KRA.
Is it safe to bet on international betting sites when you’re from Kenya?
Yes, it is. With the regulatory board of the BCLB, your gambling finances are in the safe hands.
Can players use e-wallets to make withdrawals from Kenya?
Yes, players can use e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill to make deposits and withdrawals.
- The annual turnover of the Kenyan sports betting industry is worth $20 million.
- Kenya tops the list of African countries with the highest population of gambling youth.
- In Kenya, the most popular form of gambling is sports betting.
- Kenya is one of the three largest gambling markets in Africa.
- Mobile devices and internet penetration caused the upsurge of online sports betting in Kenya.
Are There Any Restrictions for Players from Kenya?
Due to reports concerning operators who did not meet the authority’s licensing requirements, there have been severe restrictions imposed. Backed by the June/July 2019 developments, the state ordered banks to halt all transaction services that involve all unlicensed betting companies. Although this does not seem to affect Kenyan players, those who have wagered with these unlicensed companies, such as SportPesa, will need to abide by these new restrictions.
Another new restriction imposed is focused on the advertising of gambling products and services. With this, there is a ban on all outdoor and social media gambling-related advertising. Televised advertisements for gambling-related products and services are also banned between 6 AM to 10 PM.
Even with the existence of the Betting Control and Licensing Board, Kenya still remains to be a gambler-friendly place. As a billion-dollar industry with a bright, profitable future, it will endure until a new Gambling Act is approved and changes the existing flourishing state of gambling in Kenya.