How to bet legally in Kenya

Get to know all there is to know about legal online betting in Kenya. Is betting in Kenya legal at all? Which bookmakers are there that you can bet at. Is it possible to place bets on smartphones? Learn all the answers!

How to bet legally in Kenya

With so many people winning millions of shillings in prize money and dozens of companies advertising new betting promotions each and every day you might have been thinking about joining your fellow citizens in looking for riches this way. However, many Kenyans are thinking that the majority of bookmakers are a scam and that it might even be illegal to place bets in the country. The purpose of this article is to show you exactly how to bet legally in Kenya, how to know the legitimate betting companies and how not to get scammed by dishonest people in the betting industry.

legal betting

Legal betting in Kenya

So many people want to know how to bet legally in Kenya so that they do not get on the wrong side of the law. Apart from that, betting legally is the only way that you will be protected by the law. Imagine winning millions and then a certain company refusing to give you your money. If you placed your bets legally and had properly checked out the company to see if everything was legal you will most likely get your money. However, if the betting operations were not aboveboard or the company was not properly registered, you will probably not get your money. In this article, we will tell exactly how to bet legally, give you examples of legitimate betting companies, explain the legal situation in betting, highlight some of the highest bookmakers currently on the market, and give you tips on how to avoid scammers. In the end, a conclusion and recommendations will be given.

How to bet in Kenya

There are about 35 licensed bookmakers in the country. By licensed, we mean companies that have been registered and vetted by the BCLB (Betting Control and Licensing Board). The BCLB is the body mandated by law to make sure everything is running smoothly in the Kenyan betting industry. The licensed bookmakers include; casinos, mobile betting firms, and those allowed to run promotions such as the Pambazuka National Lottery (run by SportPesa).

For those of you with big monies, the best place to bet would probably be at a casino. There you can win millions based on your own skills. Whether you want to play card games or spin the dice, there are many ways to bet in casinos. Most of them depend on your skill. There are many casinos in the country, particularly at the coast. From the city of Mombasa to Diani and Malindi towns you will find dozens of casinos where you can place bets. The only requirement is for you to be over eighteen and you will be allowed at the card table. Nairobi also has one of the country’s biggest concentrations of casinos. Many of the big multinational hotels in the country have a casino. Some of the biggest casinos in the country include Safari Park Hotel and Country club casino, Continental Resort casino, Mayfair casino, Bollywood Casino (Mombasa) and Nyali International Hotel Casino.

For most Kenyans however, casinos are out of reach. Many don’t have the time to dress up or the money to go betting on casinos. That’s why the majority of Kenyans who bet do so, on mobile/ online betting companies. As the name suggests, mobile betting companies are those that do not have brick and mortar outlets such as casinos. They operate online. There are over a dozen mobile betting firms. They include SportPesa, Mcheza, Betin Kenya, Betway, and JustBet among others. To register and bet on these firms you simply need to be an adult over the age of 18 years and to own a phone that can access the internet. Once you register on one of these sites by accessing their websites online you will get a confirmation code that verifies you as a member.

You will then have to deposit some money via MPESA, Airtel Money, or Bank account. Some sites mentioned will give you a welcome bonus once you have made your deposit. Do not worry, later on, in this article, we will cover which of them have the highest bookmaker bonuses in Kenya. The amount of money you can deposit ranges from as low as 50 shillings to as high as 30,000 KES on some of these bookmakers. At this point, choose a match, predict the outcome and place your bet. If your prediction is correct, you will be rewarded with lots of extra cash. Most of these sites such as SportPesa will send you a congratulatory message confirming you have won. You can then withdraw your cash via MPESA or the bank.

Sports betting legal situation

It is legal to bet, participate in a lottery and gamble in Kenya. All betting in Kenya is regulated by the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act (Cap 131 of the Laws of Kenya). This Act established the BCLB (Betting Control and Licensing Board). Under the Act, the BCLB is charged with regulating and overseeing the betting industry in the country. For any company or enterprise to offer betting or gaming services in the country, it must first be licensed by the BCLB. Since the registration of the first mobile betting firm (SportPesa) in 2013, many other companies have also been licensed to offer online and mobile betting.

Apart from the regulation of betting in the country, BCLB is also charged with the collection of tax in the gaming industry, the inspection and shutting down of illegal or unlicensed companies and the authorization and monitoring of public lotteries. These functions show the important role played by BCLB in the country’s betting and gambling industry. Understanding the core functions of BCLB will give you the answer to the question of how to bet legally in Kenya? The answer is pretty simple; to bet legally you simply have to register on a legitimate betting company. How do you know that a betting company is legitimate? It is easy. You simply look at whether they state if they have been licensed by the BCLB. If the company is licensed, it means that all its operations are above board and that if it is found flouting the law by the BCLB it will be shut down.

Legal betting in Kenya

Apart from the licensing by BCLB, you should look at the parent company of the betting firm. Most betting firms use their trade names to offer betting services and not their real company names. You can find out the parent name in the about us section and search online if such companies have run into any trouble in the past. If yes, then stay away from such bookmakers. If not, then you can go ahead and register.

You can also tell if a company is legitimate based on its brand ambassador. Only companies that are legitimate and serious about their business look for renowned personalities or sporting organisations to be their brand ambassadors. Look at SportPesa for instance; they sponsor two of the top football clubs (in terms of fan numbers) in the country; i.e. Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. Betin Kenya is also another good example. The company’s brand ambassador is Tony Kwalanda (a renowned media personality). It costs money to get such people and organisations on your side. The sponsorship of big teams or getting prominent individuals as your brand ambassador means that that particular company is here to stay and that it cares about its brand, which in turn means that it cares about what customers think about it.

What you should also know is that you are only allowed to bet if you are over the age of 18 years. If you are under 18 it would be illegal for you to bet in Kenya.

Highest Bookmaker bonuses in Kenya

Now that you know how to bet legally in Kenya, you might be asking yourself: Where do I start with all these betting companies around? The answer to this question is pretty easy if you know what to look for. The first thing to look for is whether the company is licensed with the BCLB. If yes, then at least you know that they are legitimate. The second is whether they offer any bonuses. Bonuses are free monies given by companies for various reasons including registration; depositing a certain amount of money; or placing a multibet. Here we are going to introduce some companies that offer the highest bookmaker bonuses in Kenya, including SportPesa, Betin Kenya, Mcheza and Betfair.


SportPesa is the country’s biggest online betting company in terms of revenue and customer numbers. SportPesa is licensed and controlled by the Betting Control and Licensing Board. The company recently announced that they are the shirt sponsors of Hull City Tigers. This is another proof of their legitimacy. One of the reasons behind its success is the fact that it has a weekly football jackpot of at least 10,000,000 Kenya shillings. To win these jackpot millions you have to predict the outcome of 13 matches. Not the score but just which team will win or whether it will be a draw. Bonuses are given to those who manage to predict 10, 11 or 12 out of the 13 matches.

Apart from the jackpot bonuses, you will be given a bonus of 100 shillings every time you refer a friend to SportPesa. This is known as the Rafiki bonus. Imagine all the friends in your inner circle and getting all that free money to place bets on football leagues from all over the world. Withdrawal is also pretty simple on this betting site. You simply have to withdraw to the MPESA line you used during registration.

Conclusion and recommendation

We have talked about how to legally bet in Kenya. You have seen the legal situation about betting in the country and what type of companies to avoid. In terms of what online betting sites to bet on, we have highlighted a few with the highest bookmaker bonuses in the country to make that decision easier for you. SportPesa is one of the top betting companies in the country. Based on its lucrative promotions and bonuses, any bettor could make very good money from it. Try it now!

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