What to Know Before Starting Online Sports Betting in Kenya


Kenyan sports betting is experiencing steady growth. Except for the brief dip due to the pandemic, Kenya’s gambling industry is growing at about 7% per annum. 

This growth aligns with the rapid growth of mobile telecommunication and broadband internet access. Today, many young Kenyans have smartphones. This makes it easy for them to play on the popular gambling sites accessible in the country.

Sports betting is the most popular form of gambling online in Kenya. The affinity for sports like European football, basketball, cricket, and horse racing draws many citizens to sports betting online.

If you are a beginner, you will have many questions. You will want to know if online gambling is legal, the popular sites to bet on, and how to enjoy juicy welcome bonuses. Read on to find answers to your questions.

Is sports betting legal in Kenya?

Sports betting became legal in Kenya in 1966 through the old act on betting, lotteries, and gaming. This law spelled out the rules about gambling in the country.

All betting site operators must obtain a renewable license and pay taxes annually. The government has been earning a substantial revenue (millions of dollars) from gambling tax.

To earn more from this sector, the government created a new regulation known as the Gambling Bill in 2019. This law raised taxes to 20% on stakes. Also, the Betting Control and Licensing Board now collects an application fee of about $4,200 from local operators.

To bet safely, check for the BLCB license. The legitimate betting operators will gladly provide proof of registration.  

How do you select bookmakers in Kenya?

The first task is to ensure the company is registered to offer betting services in the country. Then move on to find out the type of games available for betting on the site.

A reputable Kenyan betting site will offer competitive odds. Odds indicate the likelihood of a game-ending in a draw, win, or loss. Competitive odds imply that you will receive a high payout if you make the right bet. 

Check the banking methods provided on the website. Banking options usually include debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets. Make sure your preferred banking option is available.

The signup process should be straightforward. Usually, you will be identified with your email address, username, and password.

Finally, check review sites to see users’ comments about the website. Stay away from websites with too many negative reviews. Such sites have poor customer service.

What are the terms, rules, and regulations for betting?

Initially, sports betting terms may seem strange to you. Some of the gambling terms you need to get familiar with include

* Favorites: Each betting line will have a favorite and an underdog. The favorite team is favored to win and will have a minus (-) sign beside its odds. 

* Underdogs: The underdogs are more likely to lose and have a plus (+) sign next to their odds.

* Spreads: The point spread is the gap or margin between the winner’s and loser’s score. For instance, if Real Madrid is a 4-point favorite against Real Betis, they will be listed at -4.

If you place a bet on Real Madrid, they will need to win their game by at least 4 points before you win the bet. If Madrid wins by five or more points, you “cover”. If they win by exactly 4 points, it’s known as a “push.” That means you get back the money you bet.

If Madrid wins by less than 4 points or loses, you will lose your bet. On the other hand, placing a bet on Real Betis will require that they win or lose by less than four points for you to win your bet.

Spread point bets are common in soccer, but they are more common in games with many points like basketball and American football

* Moneylines: This is the second most popular way to bet on a team. Favorites get a large minus sign like -150. This could mean you need to risk 150 shillings to win 100 shillings. The risk is higher on favorites because they are expected to win.

Underdogs, however, have a plus sign like +150. If you bet 100 shillings, and they win, you get 150. But if they lose, you only lose your 100 shillings. Betting on underdogs gives a higher reward because they are expected to lose. 

Bookmakers offer more betting opportunities beyond spread points and money lines. For instance, in a soccer game, you could bet on the total number of goals, the timing of goals, the number of corner kicks, the players that will score, and many more.

What are betting bonuses?

You can get different types of betting bonuses like:

* Deposit Bonus: A percentage you receive from the bookmaker after your initial deposit

* Match Bonus: A bonus from the bookmaker to motivate you to bet on selected matches

* Cashback: Money offered to compensate you when you lose a bet.

* Loyalty Program: Money you get from a bookmaker to appreciate you for betting often.

Spend some time comparing bonuses from different bookmakers before you signup.

With this basic knowledge, you can research more about sports betting in Kenya. Pick a few reliable betting sites and try them out with small bets, then gradually increase your bet as you become an expert.