Kenya shifts gambling market from credit cards to mobile transactions

By | May 25, 2021

In 2019, the Kenya Sports, Culture and Tourism Committee passed a bill that allowed casino operators to process payments via credit and debit cards. However, according to the latest gambling news, the Kenyan government has decided to change this law’s priorities. The thing is that having approved the initial version of the law, the committee abandoned the use of mobile payment systems. But given the severe spread of this payment method in all regions of the country, the government wants to provide it with a better foundation for growth.

No more credit cards

By rethinking the 2019 law, the government plans to ban gamblers from using credit cards, but that is not all. Since the previous version of the law contained many contradicting points, the committee wants to analyze and amend it. One of these points involved raising the state tax for gambling operators to 20%. This turn of events led the big sports betting brand Sportpesa to leave the Kenyan market.

M-Pesa comes out on top

With the Kenyan gambling market generating hundreds of millions of dollars, the government wanted to clear the way for mobile transactions to generate more revenue from M-Pesa payments in 2019. This mobile operator covers almost the entire Kenyan mobile market and has over 43 million users.

The more Kenyans use the M-Pesa service, the more profitable it is for the government to fight competing payment methods. The government owns a 35% stake in the operator’s host company Safaricom, but this percentage will be increased further down the road. That is why Kenyans will face a ban from credit and debit cards. Besides mobile transactions, they will have a slower electronic bank payments option only. This moment means that the M-Pesa will have no competitive methods.

Read more: Why did Lithuania ban gambling ads?

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