Kenya is a gambling nation. With each passing day, Kenyans are bombarded with gambling advertisements that have taken control of both the mainstream and traditional media. Almost everyone is gambling.
The government, through the Ministry of Interior, has confirmed that 76 percent of Kenyan youth are involved in gambling in one way or another. 56 percent of those involved in gambling are from the lowest income category while the remaining 46 are from the middle-income category.
Kenya has at least 17 major registered betting companies that have hundreds of thousands of Kenyans subscribers who have a dream and hope of winning millions of shillings and becoming rich overnight.
In 2018, betting and gambling firms in Kenya received a whopping 200 billion shillings in revenues. Out of the 200 billion shillings, only 4 billion shillings were remitted as the tax. This means they made at least 196 billion shillings in profits.
The gambling sector in Kenya is approximately worth 2 trillion shillings and has managed to lure the young people with the promise of them getting rich with millions overnight through betting.
The minimum amount one can bet with in one shilling. Betpawa, for instance, allows one to bet with as little as one shilling. One can also bet for their Jackpot of 20,000,000 shillings for only 10 shillings.
For Sportpesa, the minimum amount one can place as a bet is 50 shillings with one able to place a bet for a Jackpot of more than 100 million shillings with only 100 shillings.
With the betting amount ‘so little’, the lower and middle classes, hungry for richness, have taken up gambling as a ‘profession’. There are thousands of young people who wake up and spend the whole day gambling with the hope of making a living.
Kenyans are irresponsible gamblers. Millions of those involved in betting are not doing it for fun but to make a living. Betting should be for fun but not for making it in life.
With betting, it is wise to use the cash that you can afford to lose. Millions of Kenyans are using what they cannot afford to lose. Some are using the little they have, some their savings and some their school fees with the hope of doubling it.
The probability of winning multiple bets is 1 percent. This means that chances of failure are always at 99 percent. (Multiple bets is where one places a bet for more than one team). 90 percent of those who place for bets place for multiple bets meaning almost 99 percent of them often lose.
Stats show that at least 500,000 Kenyans, all of the youth between the age of 18 and 25 are blacklisted on the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) after taking loans and failing to pay them.
The government has attributed the increase in a number of those blacklisted on the CRB to betting. Thousands of young people are taking up loans from digital lenders to bet, fail to win and, therefore, fail to settle their loans.
With so many young people blacklisted, it means they cannot get any financial assistance in terms of loans in any other financial institution unless they settle their loans, plus the penalty for their names to be cleared.