The rise of betting in Kenya: why is it so hot among sports fans?

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betting in Kenya: why is it so hot among sports fans

As in entire Africa, sports betting became a real trend in Kenya. Not only classic gambling, gambling in shops, is popular. Although new betting shops are opening everywhere in Kenya, online betting on sites such as 22Bet Kenya is becoming attractive due to an increase in smartphones availability. 

Researches show that 57% of those age 18+ in Kenya have participated in gambling, including 69% of men and 44% of women. Most of those gamblers are light gamblers, gambling once or twice in a month. However, 10% of gamblers place bets every day. 

Mobile phones are what really increases the number of those who gamble. This is easy to conclude because researches show that just 40% of those owning basic phones gamble, compared to 64% of smartphone owners. Mobile applications are far the most popular way to gamble. Convenience and ease of access for betting via mobile phones changed an industry completely.  Cybercafes, betting shops, and casinos are far less used than mobile apps. Most of the gamblers bet by themselves. However, there are more than 30% of them who like to gamble with a friend even when using smartphones. 

When it comes to sports betting, there are two main factors that contributed to the popularity of sports betting in Kenya are the inclusion of young people in a variety of sports activities as well as the increasing number of young people having smartphones. Apart from these factors, it’s important to mention mobile money services. Mpesa is the leading mobile money service in the country. This service, for example, played a remarkable role in making gambling such a thing in Kenya.

In addition, football betting is far the most common kind of betting. 83% report that they bet on football most often, followed by lotteries with 11%. Betting on football and other sports is more popular within the younger generations, while lotteries are more popular within the older ones. Apart from then, females are more likely to gamble through lotteries than men. 

In Kenya, sports betting is a way fo an escape for younger generations. They don’t need a lot to gamble. There are even sites they use to share some betting tips for winning. Sports casinos often offer jackpots that attract young people. Casinos also promote their winner using TVs or other media. An aggressive marketing strategy that sports casinos like Betway use attracts young people with promising large jackpots, and encourages them to try their luck. As the source for sending their messages via advertising, sports casinos use famous people, for example, music and sports stars.

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