Kenya becomes gambling hub for Sub-Saharan Africa

By O’brien Kimani/Beth Nyaga

Kenya has become the gambling hub for Sub-Saharan Africa with an average Kenyan spending more than 5 thousand shillings per month on betting.

Kenya is fast becoming the gambling capital of Africa with more than 50 betting companies in Kenya according to the Betting Control and Licensing Board.

A survey by polling firm Geo-poll survey shows 76 percent of Kenyans aged between 17- 35 are betting at least once every week spending millions shillings.

Ugandans at 57 percent come second followed by Ghana at 42 percent.

Though official statistics are hard to come by, the Kenyan gambling industry is estimated to be worth billions of shillings, paying taxes worth 4.7 billion shillings.

The survey indicates that 54 percent of youth in Sub Saharan Africans have tried their hand at gambling.

Nine out of ten gamblers in Kenya use their mobile phones to bet spending an average of 5,000 shillings per month.

South Africa, though having the highest rate of mobile penetration in Africa, has the lowest usage of the mobile handset for gambling at 48 percent.

Football attracts the highest number gamblers in Kenya followed by horse racing and dog racing. Revenue collected from this tax will feed the National Sports, Culture and Arts Fund.

While presenting the Budget speech in parliament last week, Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich proposed to raise taxes for betting, lottery, gaming and companies running prize competitions from 7.5%, 5%, 12% and 15% respectively to a uniform tax rate of 50% for all categories.


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