Online Betting in Kenya

Kenya flag

Sports betting online in Kenya is still an emerging market where only very few bookmakers have ventured thus far. We’re going to look into the specialties of sports betting in Kenya, where to bet and everything else that might be interesting and important to you.

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Legality of sports betting in Kenya

Gambling and sports betting has been legal in Kenya since 1966, which is when the Betting and Licensing Board was created. It’s the main licensing and regulating government body that looks after everything related to gambling and betting in Kenya.

The Board has been overseeing all land-based gambling and betting venues in the country since then. However, adapting to the new reality of online gambling and sports betting has been slow going.

Only in 2011 was Amaya allowed to operate legally in Kenya. They are the operator behind PokerStars, which can be legally used in Kenya.

Nowadays, more and more online betting and gambling sites venture into the Kenyan market, obtaining a license and even offer deposits using Kenyan Shilling and local deposit options, but there are still few international sites available in Kenya.

Despite that, sports betting is hugely popular in Kenya and hopefully more companies will welcome punters from Kenya soon. This is important for punters in Kenya as a majority of international betting sites is not currently regulated in Kenya.

What is different about sports betting in Kenya

One of the favourite sports to bet on in Kenya is football. The country has its own Premier League and national team, but Kenyans follow UK and European leagues closely, betting on major events as well.

Another favourite sport is rugby as well as basketball, baseball and track and field sports. Cricket is a sport that is up and coming, though nowhere near as popular as in other parts of the world.

Traditionally, Kenyans use land-based bookies to place their bets, but with an estimated half of the population having access to the Internet, online sports betting is becoming more widely available and more popular.

And for those who don’t have internet, placing bets via SMS is another favoured option.

Sportsbooks operating in Kenya should accept Kenyan Shilling (KES) as a currency, so punters may avoid currency transaction fees.

Depositing with KES and via SMS

The most convenient method to make deposits at an online betting site when you are in Kenya is M-Pesa. This is essentially a way to deposit money using your mobile phone and SMS service.

Knowing this, betting sites operating in Kenya allow deposits in Kenyan Shilling through M-Pesa, or alternatively AirTel Money, which is the second most popular option to make deposits in Kenya.

In order to make a deposit using M-Pesa, you need a mobile phone with a Kenyan sim card, which allows you to put money from your bank account into your M-Pesa account. From there you can make a deposit to your betting site.

It kind of works like an e-Wallet except for your mobile phone, which is essentially the wallet in this case.

The best thing about it is that you can also use it for withdrawals.

Best Kenyan Betting Sites

What are the best online betting sites in Kenya? Well, we already mentioned that there aren’t many regulated betting sites. In theory, punters from Kenya can also use unregulated sites, however, it is vitally important to look into the operator and assure yourself of their trustworthiness.

So, whichever site you choose, be sure to check the following:

  • Trustworthiness and licensing: Does the site have a good reputation? Do players like it here? Are withdrawals safe and secure? Is the operator licensed through a regulator such as the MGA, UKGC or even Curacao?
  • Bonuses and promotions: Do players from Kenya get to use bonuses and promotions? Are the terms fair? What are the wagering requirements?
  • Variety of markets and competitive odds: Are favourite Kenyan sports covered in the sportsbook? What are the odds like? Are they competitive?
  • Banking: Which deposit and withdrawal options are available? Can I deposit using KES? Is M-Pesa accepted?
  • Customer service and usability of the site: How is the customer service? When are they available? Can I get the help I need? Is the sportsbook easy to use or confusing? How is the overall usability of the betting site?

In our reviews we cover all these aspects and more, but since we don’t cover all betting site, you should always ensure that you do proper research.

Which is our favourite betting site in Kenya?

  • Betway

The site not only welcomes players from Kenya but allows deposits in KES, which you will be able to do via M-Pesa, and Betway even has a welcome offer for players from Kenya that you can claim when you sign up here.

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