Kenyans bet a record Sh88.5 billion on internet betting alone between July 2022 and June 2023. This amount is calculated by adding the Sh6.64 billion in gambling excise duty that gaming companies have submitted to the Kenyan Revenue Authority (KRA) in the fiscal year 2022-2023, which is 7.5% of bets staked by players. Kenya Gambling
If the stumbling bets were broken down into smaller portions, Kenyans would wager Sh242 million daily, or Sh10.1 million every hour, Sh168,333 per minute, and Sh2,806 every second.
Contrarily, if Kenya’s gambling sector were a market, it would compete with the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), whose turnover last year was just slightly higher than the total amount wagered at Sh94.2 billion. For industry and industrialization, social protection, government, and justice, as well as sports, culture, recreation, and tourism, punters alone could cover all costs while still having money left over.
Despite a yearly crackdown on active gaming enterprises and high taxes, Kenya’s obsession with betting is still very much alive. For instance, in 2019, the Ministry of Interior, then headed by Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, engaged in a legal war against gaming companies by accusing them of a number of crimes, such as money laundering and tax evasion, which almost brought an end to the industry.
The government’s actions appeared to drain the swamp like cockroaches that are thought to be able to withstand a nuclear attack, but the sector has since recovered. Players have endured the hazards of gambling as well as the certainty of high taxes in order to support a multi-billion shilling business.
Dr. Kiriinya asserts that Kenya is quickly turning into a betting nation, with a daily rise in the number of persons seeking expert assistance. Additionally, betting has been unofficially promoted as a get-rich-quick scheme and a magic wand for instant prosperity, especially among young people. Kenya Gambling
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While this is a decrease from the 22.7 percent in 2019, one in ten Kenyans, or 11.2% of those who partake in the activity, view betting as a reliable source of income. With 2.6% of mobile money account holders confessing to betting with their accounts, mobile money has just fanned the flames.
With millions of bettors, this has guaranteed a consistent stream of income for the bookies, who almost always profit from bettors’ losses. As victory in a game of chance is solely dependent on luck, the house is more likely to prevail than the players.
Casinos earned Sh6.4 billion, while bookmakers earned Sh16.3 billion, according to the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), with the conservative statistics representing gross gaming income after taking winnings into account.
The government has gradually strengthened its grip on the sector over time, draining more of Kenyans’ ambition to prosper. In order to extract more money from the sector, regulatory adjustments have been implemented during the course of subsequent fiscal years, even if they have so far had no impact on the wealthy aspirations of customers.
For instance, the 2023 Finance Act’s approval resulted in a higher excise duty rate on gambling, with the tax charged on bet amounts rising from 7.5% to 12.5% starting in July. Kenya Gambling