We all know betting was made easy by the advent of Sportpesa in Kenya. Before that things were very different.
Kenya has always been forward thinking when it comes to gambling, and is one of the fastest growing markets in online sports betting.
It is the norm for young men and women to catch up over some beer, action packed football, Rugby matches or athletics, and with the rise of mobile money transactions, opportune coming up of online android betting apps including Sportpesa, and availability of smartphones. This became the perfect recipe for online sports betting among popular sites including Betika, betway and bet 254.
Betting in Kenya
According to a Geopoll survey in 2017, Kenya had the highest number of youths gambling in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 76% of youth taking part in betting, spending an average of over KES 5,400 per month, mostly on football betting.
The betting industry in Kenya stands as one of the most lucrative in the continent, with an estimated worth of 2 Billion USD, with over 25 betting companies in the market.
Sportpesa, the betting brand that Kenyans came to love
SportPesa, a former sponsor of Everton FC official Jersey, was the most popular betting firm in Kenya, with over 40% of the market share.
In 2019 SportPesa, and other betting firms fortunes changed, when the companies were forced to terminate operations in Kenya, having lost their battle with the Kenyan government over renewal of licenses. This move resulted in the laying off of over 400 employees in the region, and adverse effects in other sectors including Sports, Advertising and the online betting sector.
With the exit of Sportpesa, which had a claim of over 82% of Kenyan gamblers reporting to have an account with the sportsbook, making it the most popular gambling site among Kenyans.
Other online sport betting platforms including, Betika, Betway, Kwikbet, Bet254 and odibets have attempted to cover the large gap left, by the betting giant.
KRA takes on betting companies in Kenya
Tensions between sports betting operators and the Kenyan government reached fever pitch in 2019 with the introduction of the sports betting turnover tax. With this new legislation, a 20% betting tax on all winnings by Kenyan’s who placed bets was imposed.
What this meant the is you as a gambler would get 80% of the total winnings. The betting company would remit to KRA 20% of the gamblers initial stakes. For online betting websites in Kenya, this meant as operators they would be forced to pay more in taxes than they had been able to generate in revenues, which led to their exit in the Kenyan market.
Is sportpesa back?
Alternatives to sportpesa in Kenya
Here are the top 5 alternative sport betting sites you can use instead of sportpesa.
Betika which has become a frontrunner with the absence of Sportpesa has a long list of sports to bet on, and offers live betting and large potential jackpot. Founded in 2016 in Kenya, you can bet on your team on SMS to 290290, the website
www.betika.com or on the Betika app
Odibets, which was founded in 2018, here you can bet on SMS to 29680, on the website
www.odibets.com or using the Odibets app, Odibets specializes in Kenya’s favorite sports including football, basketball, boxing, rugby as well as darts.
Kwikbet is another fun, simple and easy online betting platform that integrates SMS betting to 29028 with an affordable Jackpot stake of KES 30.The mobi site is
Bet 254 is another online betting site to consider. It is a relatively new site in Kenya, launched in 2019 and you can place your bet on
Another option is Betway, an internationally recognized gambling company, and came into the Kenyan market in 2015, you can bet via SMS using 29029, the BetwayKenya app on www.betway.co.ke
Well it is said, one man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune. This is the case when it comes to sport betting in Kenya.
Other online betting firms have put their foot forward in an attempt to fill the gap Sportpesa and other betting firms left. However, the sports Betting industry is still hemorrhaging from the departure of Sportpesa and other mega sport betting companies. Sports betting fans are nostalgic, and eagerly waiting for the restoration of the giant gambling company, with hopes of winning mega jackpots.
The clubs management, players and advertising industry are also holding their breath. They are hoping the company will be able to reach an agreement with the government on a way to get back to the Kenyan market. This will return the once lucrative Sportpesa venture to its rightful place.