How will COVID-19 affect gambling in Kenya

  • I know by now we are all aware of this pandemic coronavirus (covid19) and its unexpected speed of spreading. It all started in china and within no time its effect was felt all over the world.
Gambling in Kenya

Currently, this pandemic has shutdown major cities in the world like Wuhan, China, and Milan. Every corner of the planet has felt its impact becoming a threat to all associations and activities. 

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of covid19 as a pandemic, the world has suffered greatly economically, socially and politically leading to the nation’s cancelation of all flights and barring entrances.

Most of the nations by now have issued a statement banning all gathering and association, something that has denied the citizens’ rights to freedom of association and traveling. Kenya is the latest. Covid19 has imprisoned Kenyan sport and citizens in their own nation and force the betting firm to a meltdown of no games.

Literally, every single fan and Gambler long for a weekend sports fun, the only opportunity fans have unlimited fun supporting their teams and celebrating victories. Sports, especially football and athletics have been a figure of unity and togetherness in Kenya. It has managed to bring all races on one table speaking one language, sports.

Football as a sport that most people know and understand has been the subject of every football fan with all staging every weekend to watch and witness every blade of grass as the players battle for the Glory. The epidemic covid19 has not only mutilated sports and fans but also the non-fans (gamblers) who are betting.


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The famous and most followed league in the United Kingdom and probably the world – The English Premier League (EPL) – has seen this weekend matches postponed as a caution to Covid19. This match postponement has left Kenyans stacked on a confusion of what will become of the EPL and the world of sport at large.

Sports had been the spine and a propeller behind most of the world and Kenya’s economy in a number of ways. First, it has been generating revenue both as an earning to the athletes and clubs. Secondly, it is an avenue through which the Kenyan Government gets revenue through taxes and betting licensing. Finally, gambling sites and the clubs have been benefiting largely from sports especially through investing, winnings and entrance charges to be precise.

As a result of this economic meltdown, we are going to see a lot of sports companies and casino in Kenya shut down as everyone speculate the safety and caution on covid19. What are the addicted and passionate gamblers who have been investing, working and milking these betting companies do?

A simple assessment I have done shows that almost every middle and low-income earner in Kenya stake a bet of around 100 shillings a day and 4 times this bet on weekends. I wonder now how will Kenyans cope without gambling and weekend football, like the previous weekend all the European big leagues were postponed their matches as well as the Kenya Premier League (KPL).

Gambling has been an economic activity for most youth with betting shops and casinos growing rampantly all over the country. Other new betting companies’ are venturing the Kenyan market with the hope of winning a share of the market. They (betting) have introduced new features like cashouts and virtual games with instant pay to lure gambles but now those favorites game Kenyans use to stake are canceled, are they going to quit?

I believe Kenyans are not the kind of people who quit and as the covid19 threatens their existence in the game (gambling), most of them are turning their focus on the virtual games and online casino. They are starting to shift from the real games to the dog racing, dice and other online virtual games available on the betting firms.

As everything seems to fall apart, betting is proving to be a lone survivor on the Kenyan jungle of sports where sports are threatened by the pandemic covid19.  Even after the world of sports has stopped I believe and see gambling faring well.

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