Online gambling has persisted tenaciously despite the rapid adoption of smartphones and mobile money throughout Kenya. Kenya’s mobile money revolution is driving sports betting growth, financial opportunities have increased thanks to mobile money. Additionally, it has simplified sports betting, which is still done in brick-and-mortar establishments.
Elected officials, community leaders, and academics from Kenya. African nations have been raising the alarm about the spread of sports betting ever since the middle of the previous decade. While the practice has led to stories of wealth far more significant than Kirwa’s. It has also shattered families, cost students college tuition, and even driven some people to commit suicide.
Betting turns into a hustle
Young Kenyans are rapidly turning to entrepreneurship, as many refer to it. Perhaps even more precisely hustling, given the country’s high unemployment rate. After giving up his plans to become a teacher, Kirwa started working for himself in 2017. He had trouble affording his tuition at the university, so he decided to drop out.
With his saved money, he opened a kiosk where people could use desktop computers and make M-Pesa cash withdrawals. He began selling printouts of information about international soccer matches to make extra money. He had noticed that consumers were increasingly glued to their phones to wager on Kenya’s favorite sport.
A difficult habit to break
Several contend that Kenya ought to outright outlaw sports wagering. There is precedent for this in many regions of the world. Such as the majority of Asia and the Middle East have strict laws against the practice. For starters, taxes from gambling have grown to be a substantial source of income for Kenya’s financially strapped government. A 2019 bill asking for a change operator with stronger teeth did not gain traction in the Kenyan parliament.
Because many of the nation’s top betting establishments have close financial ties to politicians or their associates. Additionally, betting companies themselves have grown to be significant employers. Ngare, who has worked for several of them. Mobile money is driving sports betting in Kenya and would prefer to go back to journalism.
Africans who support mobile-based sports betting will inform you how beneficial it has been for the region. They enumerate several advantages to gambling, such as more job opportunities, easy money for low-income earners, tax revenue for the government, and overall economic growth. They avoid discussing the devastating impact that betting has on most participants.
Due to its youngest population across the globe, Africa is particularly affected by this. Africa has 420 million people between the ages of 15 and 35. Additionally, there is a severe unemployment problem, Kenyan sports bettors use mobile money to drive betting volume. Sixteen percent of African youths lack gainful employment.
Expanding mobile money services has made new options for businesses to sell their goods and services. It is indeed the quickly growing sports betting industry that has swept through several African nations. Governments must acknowledge that while mobile money has largely had positive effects on financial inclusion, there have been drawbacks. In Africa, gambling addiction is becoming more common, and betting prevalence has increased due to mobile phone technology’s rapid expansion.