A panel entitled ‘Land of Opportunity?: The changing face of gaming in Kenya’ was recently held. It was sponsored by PM Affiliates and BetGames.TV. Industry leaders discussed Kenya’s betting regulations. They agreed that the industry is ‘unstable’ and ‘volatile’. The panel was hosted during the SBC Digital – Africa event.
Spencer Okach is BetLion’s Regional Managing Director. He said that financial legislation in the country has changed. He also noted that this is a key reason for Kenya’s market being unstable for betting operators.
The country’s Finance Bill changes annually. This makes it hard to plan ahead. Okach acknowledged that the Bill is currently under review, making the market unpredictable.
Imran Bukhari, CEO of Truware, also commented on the regulations. He said that companies interested in launching in Kenya must be nimble. This will help navigate regulatory hurdles. Gambling products should be able to switch between territories where they operate. This will help negate the pressure.
Gambling Opportunities Galore
Okach maintained that despite the setbacks, Kenya remains a ‘land of opportunity’. He said that compared to other jurisdictions, South Africa and Kenya are the most stable.
He noted that Kenya is the first ‘market where people have accepted mobile money quite openly’. Kenyans trust mobile money, and this provides opportunities to betting operators. It also helps to offset the volatile regulatory conditions.
Dominic Field, the LiveScore Group Nigeria’s Country Manager, agreed. He noted that Kenya’s regulatory background is unstable but presents opportunities for operators. Field argued that because the market is volatile, it’s best suited to bigger companies. He believes that they can better absorb shakeups.
Field also asserted that if a product is unique, it stands out in a competitive industry. Differentiation is essential.
John Gordon, CEO of Incentive Games, expressed the importance of a product-centric approach. He stated that product localisation is recognised throughout the continent. Kenya is a huge opportunity in Africa, and understanding the demographic is key.