How Sportpesa’s Exit from the Kenyan Market Will Affect the Economy


Sportpesa’s exit from Kenya is a big blow to the Kenyan government. Though senior government officials have buried their heads in the sand, already the effect is being felt. Yesterday morning, the giant betting firm announced that it will exit the Kenyan market due to harsh working conditions, news that was received with mixed reactions.

Since July 20 when Sportpesa’s paybill number was closed by Safaricom, thousands of youths have greatly been affected. More than 100 bloggers were depending on Sportpesa for survival, media houses also received huge amount of money from Sportpesa and other betting companies that were closed. For instance,every single advert that Sportpesa placed on Nation or Standard cost the company over Ksh 3 million per month.The TV adverts were also not cheap.Each of the major blogs in Kenya ran gambling adverts.

While Safaricom was closing the paybill numbers, they management informed the government that a total of 12 million subscribers were coming from Sportpesa.We understand that the government had the believe that when Sportpesa is not operational, their subscribers will shift to other betting firms, which is not the case.I know of a number of Kenyans who stopped betting immediately Sportpesa was closed.

Safaricom will not inform you at the moment that their profits have dropped, but wait until next year when they will declare their profits.

You should also not forget that Sportpesa was remitting at least Ksh8 billion in taxes every year, now that it’s closed, the government will lose Ksh8 billion.

With the new 20% tax on winnings, more gamblers will drop out, hence less revenue for the government.

The most affected groups are Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards and the Kenya Premier League. What pains me is that the Kenyan government doesn’t care about football in the country. Already Gor Mahia needs Ksh12 million to pay workers and finance its operations but the government is quiet, soon you’ll see the club running into bankruptcy and finally collapse.

Sportpesa,Betin and other betting firms had employed over 5,000 workers,all these people will be jobless.Analysts say a total of 100,000 Kenyans will be rendered jobless following the closure of the gambling firms.

The ultimate goal of the government was to help the youth from the gambling menace, but what is the point of closing other betting firms while others are still operating?!!!