Gaming laws across the planet are in a constant state of change as governments and private businesses hustle to grab revenues wherever they can. To help our readers keep up with these developments, CAP is taking a closer look at the current state of iGaming in a number of key markets including Germany, South Korea, and Australia. This week we’re stepping off the beaten gaming path to see how Kenya handles gaming issues.
When gaming industry insiders speak of emerging markets, they’re usually referring to Asia. But in the heart of Africa, cash strapped governments are recognizing igaming’s potential as a source of steady tax revenue and are embracing it slowly.
Let’s be honest, most African countries are not exactly known for their efficient legal and legislative systems, but the Betting Control and Licensing Board of Kenya seems to be an exception. Unlike other African countries like South Africa, Kenyan gaming laws seem pretty clear cut.
Last year the Board worked closely Amaya, a Canadian gaming firm to develop BetKenya.com the country’s first full service online gaming site. Prior to launching BetKenya.com Amaya operated several scratch ticket and lottery sites in Kenya.
But there really aren’t a lot of restrictions holding the site back. They’re restricted to Kenyan players and that’s about as many hoops as they’ve got to jump through
Pure Revenue Play
Kenya’s government is refreshing honest about their intentions behind working with Amaya; controlling gaming means significant tax revenues. In a recent statement, Amaya president David Baazov said, “BetKenya will provide the Kenyan government with a new source of revenue and a new capability to oversee online gaming activities in the country, while still allowing its residents to enjoy a world-class gaming experience.”
To help keep business to the site going, the Kenyan government has offered to redirect Kenyan Internet traffic headed to illegal foreign gaming sites directly to BetyKenya.com. Now that’s helpful.
Major Mobile Market
Thanks to aging, and non-existent, telecom infrastructure Kenyans rely heavily on mobile phones for Internet access. And like most Africans, they’ve embraced mobile internet, and mobile gaming in a big way. According to the news site iHub, there are around 10 million mobile phone users in Kenya and around 98% those people utilize mobile Internet.
High mobile phone usage has accounted for the huge popularity of mobile scratch card games and mobile lotteries throughout the country.
What Affiliates Should Know
Kenya is one of the more prosperous and stable African countries, but it provides a good model for what igaming will likely look like in the rest of continent. Most African gaming will likely feature some pretty serious government control and rely heavily on mobile devices.
Do you have any experience with the African iGaming market? Share them with us on our General Discussion Forum.