Kenyan capital Nairobi has a new sports betting Mecca with Gaming International opening a multi-million dollar venue. The Odeon Cinema in the centre of the city plays host to the $3.5million sports betting centre that is expected to create around 450 direct jobs for the country’s economy. At the launch, Gaming International CEO James Simon Mpanga said: “Our investment has been guided greatly by the East African Common Market Protocol that has made it easier to conduct business.”
He continued: “We hope we can meet with like-minded investors who can set up our outlets independently. We are also open to franchise our operations to Kenyan investors.”
The firm has already invested $1.5m in the hardware and software needed to run the venue and will spend the remaining $2m setting up a nationwide sales network. If this venue is a success, according to the Nairobi Star they’ll set up venues in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret within the next six months. It also states the venue is “looking to attract 100,000 clients per week,” and has strict controls in place to prevent anyone under the age of 18 entering the venue.
Kenya was in the news recently when the government announced plans to raise the amount of tax they take from gaming industry venues to a 20% withholding tax on winnings. This hasn’t been confirmed yet and has caused consternation amongst land-based operators in the Kenyan market. Operators saw off the last attempt and with the added might of Gaming International on board they could be successful again.