Can't Use Betway From Kenya Any More: What Happened?

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

Shocking news in the world of sports betting Tuesday as Betway has announced it will no longer be serving the African nation of Kenya.

Welcoming Customers in Kenya

With its English-speaking population of around 53 million people and a lust for sports betting, especially on European football, the move represents a crushing blow in the African sports gambling arena.

Kenya is still open to a wide variety of bitcoin exchanges as there are some cryptocurrency online casinos available in the nation.

The news comes as a bit of a shock as media outlets have long heralded Kenya as the new "empire of sports betting". 

Affiliates of Betway were greeted with this message (submitted to on Tuesday:

We regret to announce that Betway will cease operating in Kenya as from today, 16th May 2023.

Further to this, please note the following:

- From today, no deposits will be allowed on the website.
- No bets on events will be allowed and players will only have access to view balances and request cashouts.
- Registrations are closed

No explanation was given and affiliates will be cut off from the market in one foul swoop without warning.  With the nominal wagering amounts, extra work is required for affiliates to obtain real value in much of the African marketplace.

Betway encourages its affiliates to focus on the Nigeria market.  This is perhaps the most affluent outside of South Africa.  But the average bet placed per day is just 3000 Naira or $15 per day on sports bets.  This equates to $5 per day affiliate pay (if you're lucky), assuming there are daily matches.  There are not.  In other words, an affiliate will be fortunate if they earn around $40 per month for one player in Nigeria.  And this is assuming they're losing.  Yes, we're being overly generous here. Most of your players won't bet more than $5 a day.  The average Nigerian only makes under $800 a month.   It's $211 in Zambia, another country Betway is pushing.

Stunned gamblers and affiliates alike were inquiring via Twitter on Tuesday.

DK Lotema may have the answer: "Tax of course. We're literally chasing away investors."

And the African nation is going after cryptocurrencies with their tax initiatives as well it seems. Digital asset and non-fungible token (NFT) owners in Kenya will have to pay a 3% tax on all transfers under the proposed 2023 Finance Bill, we are learning.

Unless Betway was ordered to stop conducting business in Kenya, a bit of an upfront warning might have gone a long way.  Betway's been at the forefront of pushing the African market for affiliates and this is certain to hurt.

We would note that Betway had been promoting to Kenyans on its Twitter page right up until yesterday (May 14).

- Gilbert Horowitz,

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