• In countries, gambling activities are not regulated, or their authorities have done nothing yet to regulate or forbid these activities.
  • and Internet growth naturally resulted in more African people engaging in online sports betting and casino gaming activities and the African country with most gamblers in South Africa. In fact, over eighty percent of the gambling activity on the continent comes from South African residents
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The latest range of licensing fees and taxes for gambling establishments in Nairobi will not negatively affect the thriving Kenyan gambling industry.
Image: /COURTESY

In Africa, South Africa is home to the most thriving and most profitable gambling industry, but Kenya is closely following with more and more Kenyan residents turning to online gambling venues. Africa is a stunning continent rich in minerals, black gold, and of course, breathtaking wildlife. While many industries are thriving on the continent, African people have also been huge fans of gambling especially sports betting. Both sports betting and casino gambling have been a huge part of African people’s lifestyle and this industry underwent major changes in the last ten years to reach its peak not so long ago thanks to the increasing internet penetration rates.

In some African countries, gambling activities are not regulated, or their authorities have done nothing yet to regulate or forbid these activities. In some African countries, betting and casino companies operate legally while in others, all forms of online and land-based gambling activities are banned. In most cases, an African country belongs to one of the three groups. One country in which gambling activities of all forms are banned in Sudan so there are not many devoted gamblers among Sudan people. African countries with the most gamblers include:

South Africa

  1. Kenya
  2. Nigeria
  3. Uganda
  4. Tanzania
  5. Moroc

The biggest changes on the continent regarding gambling activities occurred back in 1996 and more recently in 2004. The Gambling Act has been in force since 1996 and according to this law’s regulations, certain gambling activities, including sports betting and lottery, are legal. Since 2004, another Act has been introduced, and according to this law, online gaming operators, including those that operate sports betting sites and online casinos can legally operate in African countries if they have obtained required licenses from the main regulatory bodies.  

Gambling Activities in Africa

The mobile tech and Internet growth naturally resulted in more African people engaging in online sports betting and casino gaming activities and the African country with most gamblers in South Africa. In fact, over eighty percent of the gambling activity on the continent comes from South African residents. South African people can lawfully engage in numerous forms of online and land-based gambling activities at numerous online and land-based gambling venues.

When it comes to Kenya and its gambling industry, it has been thriving for many years. In Kenya, online casinos can operate legally alongside online sports betting and retail sports betting sites. Mobile gambling activities are also beloved by Kenyan residents, especially among Kenyan sports bettors who prefer using their mobile devices to engage in such activities. Nigeria is home to the third most thriving and profitable gambling industry in the African continent, thanks to lenient gambling laws. Gambling operators with necessary licenses operate in Nigeria, and many of these are bigger international brands.

When discussing African countries with the most prosperous gambling industries, we have to mention Uganda, where many individuals are loyal not only to online gambling activities but also lotteries. Loyal punters can enjoy various forms of online and land-based gambling activities. In Uganda, strict rules and laws regarding the operations of land-based and online gambling venues are in place, but international companies have no issues with following these rules and regulations.

Tanzania is also home to a thriving gambling industry. More specifically, this African country has a very rich land-based gambling scene, with the Le Grande Casino venue leading the way in the country’s capital city of Dodoma. Companies that provide online gambling activities are also more than welcome to operate in Tanzania. Following the introduction of the Gambling Act, more and more international gambling operators emerged on the scene, which naturally has led to a major economic boost.  

Despite the fact that Morocco is quite a religious country, it has a thriving gambling industry on its own. Morocco is more known for its luxurious, first-class land-based casinos, while online sports betting and casino gaming operators also offer their services and products to Moroccan residents. In addition to these African countries, Botswana and Ghana are both very friendly towards online casino gaming and sports betting activities, and locals are free to game at numerous international sites that operate here.

The Kenyan gambling market is one of the most profitable in Africa, and this new range of taxes and higher licensing fees will not negatively affect online gambling operators. If you are interested in learning more about online casinos in Kenya, make sure you check out the best options listed here. While online casinos operational in Nairobi are forced to invest more to renew their licenses, business opportunities are amazing, especially for local companies.

Gambling Activities in Kenya

Kenyan residents can engage in various forms of gambling activities fully legally, and these activities in the country have been legal for many decades or more specifically since 1966. The main piece of legislation in the country is the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act, and according to the rules and regulations of this act, iGaming operators with the necessary licenses can provide gambling services and activities to Kenyan residents. In Kenya, the Betting Control and Licensing Board is responsible for monitoring all forms of gambling activities, including:

  • Slots, table games, and other casino games
  • Poker and bingo games
  • Sports betting services
  • Horse racing betting
  • Fantasy betting
  • Lotteries and social gaming
  • Skill games and related competitions

In Kenya, gambling activities are an extremely popular form of entertainment, and online sports betting and online casino gaming activities are fully legal and regulated. As previously mentioned, gambling activities of various forms have been legal in the country since 1966, and today, over 10,000 Kenyan citizens work in the industry. When it comes to online gambling in the country, they have been regulated and monitored by the Betting Control and Licensing Board since 2011 and major gaming operators are making sure to create a responsible gambling atmosphere whenever possible.

The very first iGaming operator to emerge on the scene was Amaya Gaming Group that opened the very first online casino in Kenya in 2011. For over a decade, Kenyan residents have enjoyed online gambling activities at numerous international sites even though engaging in such activities at foreign sites is considered illegal, according to the main piece of legislation. All in all, Kenya is home to one of the most profitable gambling industries in the African continent alongside South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, and Uganda.  

Higher Licensing Fees and Taxes for Nairobi Gambling Operators

Back in 2018, the main regulatory body for the Kenyan gambling industry decided to increase taxes on gambling operations to 35%. Back in June of 2021, the same regulatory body increased licensing fees for all gambling operators that are located in the country's capital city of Nairobi. The latest legislation concerning the industry imposes higher tax revenues for all gambling operators, and the main reason behind this increase is to generate more tax revenues, and these revenues will be given to charities.

According to one report released by Business Daily Africa, the Nairobi City County Betting and Gaming Act was ratified in2021 by the Nairobi County Assembly, and according to the newest ratification, all gambling operators operational in Nairobi must invest around Sh five million, five hundred and sixty thousand to obtain licenses. According to the new terms and regulations, all Nairobi gambling operators also have to invest sh 9,200 to apply for licensing. The latest ratification of the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act has instituted a higher annual licensing renewal fee of $278 alongside a higher sh 9,200  fee for transfer duties.

For gambling establishments operational in Nairobi that offer casino games and other gambling activities, the latest ratification of the Nairobi City County Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act also implemented a higher grant fee of sh 9,200 and a higher application duty fee of sh 9,200. Moreover, these Nairobi gambling establishments will have to pay a fee of sh 2,780,000 every year to renew their licenses alongside investing sh 189,200 for every transfer.

According to the latest reports released by Business Daily Africa, licensing fees for lotteries or gambling establishments that offer lottery games also increased to sh 3,700,000 and this is the fee lotteries will pay every year to get their licenses. On top of this yearly charge, lotteries in the Kenyan capital city will also have to invest around sh 926, 000 for application tariffs. In addition, gambling establishments offering lottery games will have to invest sh 463,900 to renew their licenses every year on top of $231 required for every transfer.

Gambling operators that want to obtain the required licenses to operate in Nairobi will have to invest $4,630 if they operate within Kenya. Foreign operators that want to obtain licenses to operate in Nairobi have to pay a higher fee of sh 9,260,00. Operators of bingo games are not excluded from the latest bill and they are required to invest sh 27,800 every three months to keep their operating licenses. Bingo operators also need to give away 15% of their revenues for charitable causes to the County Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

The latest ratification of the Nairobi City County Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act also introduced a fee of $46 for every single jackpot draw conducted by all gaming, lottery, and betting company. On top of this, a higher 10% tax was introduced on all winning revenues.