Mumbai-based Nazara Technologies has established NZWorld Kenya Ltd, in order to capitalise on high demand for real-money betting in the country.
The social and mobile gaming operator controls 70 percent of the subsidiary, approved by the Kenyan Betting Control and Licensing Board earlier this year, with its local partner holding the remaining 30 percent.
Nazara CEO Manish Agarwal said real-money gaming represents “a very big market in Africa, and is the main reason why we are setting up a new entity in Kenya.”
Nazara’s initial product offering is based on the social prediction and fantasy sports apps currently available in India, a market in which real-money sports betting remains illegal.
However, the company has been building an Africa-focused portfolio with select real-money offerings released to coincide with the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The launch comes amid ongoing uncertainty regarding Kenya’s taxation policy, with an increase of tax on gambling revenue from 7.5 percent to 35 percent enacted on 1 January.
In June, an attempt by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale to reduce the levy to 15 percent was opposed by the National Assembly Committee on Labor and Social Welfare.
The Committee ruled that individual changes would “leave the existing Act vague, hence causing conflict,” and proposed instead a complete overhaul of the Gambling Act.
Despite the uncertainty, Agarwal praised Kenya’s “well laid out and clear licensing framework,” before announcing Nazara is also investigating the real-money markets of Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria.