Regulator ‘leak’ reveal extent of Kenyan betting market

Kenyan regulator document leak
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A document said to have been leaked by the Kenyan gambling regulator reveals sports bettors placed around Sh30.6bn ($300m) in wagers in a single month last year.


The spreadsheet from the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) details company figures for May 2019 – the month before the government began its efforts to “turn the industry on its head” by refusing to renew most of the leading operators’ licences. The figures are comprised inf 180 million individual bets (around five per Kenyan adult) with an average value of Sh170.

The revenue declaration snapshot was obtained by Finance Uncovered, a UK-based investigative journalism and training project, before being shared with the local paper, The Nation.

Curiously, this is thought to be the first time that comprehensive betting figures (albeit for only a single month) have been made public. The true size of Kenya’s betting market, as well as the revenues accrued by individual firms has been heavily disputed.

Various firms were accused of under reporting revenues last year, during protracted negotiations between the state, regulator and private companies, which resulted in local giants, Sportpesa and Betin, and several others being locked out of the market. Sportpesa was said to account for around 64 percent of the entire market. According to the Nation Sportpesa declared bets for May at Sh20bn. Betin came in second, with declared bets of almost Sh6 billion – nearly 20 per cent of all market share.

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