Betting and sports were the most popular topics for Kenyans’ Google searches in 2018, according to a new report.
An internet search report prepared by Hootsuite and We Are Social showed 11 betting-related subjects in the top 20 Google search queries by Kenyans in 2018. Kenya’s leading sportsbook SportPesa topped the list, an honor the company has enjoyed for several years now.
Just so you understand this was no fluke, ‘SportPesa Login’ also appeared on the chart in 10th position. Other betting operators making the grade include BetPawa (5), Betin (7), Betika (9) and Forebet (13). Also featuring prominently on the chart were sports data sites Livescore (3), Prediction (8), Livescore CZ (17) and SportPesa Livescore (19). The list also included English Premier League teams Arsenal (12) and Chelsea (16).
Betting sites also scored highly in terms of the nation’s website traffic, with the Kenyan domains of SportPesa (9), Betin (10), BetPawa (17) and 1xBet (20) appearing on the top-20 Alexa Website Ranking.
Online betting’s propularity may partly stem from the fact that Kenya boasts an 84% internet penetration rate, significantly higher than the 32% average across the six East African Community partner states (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda).
A 2018 Nielsen survey found Kenya’s online betting penetration at 27%, a significantly larger sum than neighboring Tanzania (5%), Uganda (4%) and Rwanda (2%).
A recent report by spending tracking app Reach.africa ranked betting second on the list of Kenyans’ most occurring online transactions, behind only ‘bills & utilities.’ (By contrast, betting ranked 10th on Nigeria’s list.) The top-five betting companies in Kenya were (in descending order) SportPesa, Betin, BetPawa, Betika and Shabiki).
In 2017, a GeoPoll survey found that 54% of Kenyan youth had wagered on sports, a much higher rate than other African countries, and Kenyan youth also wagered more money per month than their counterparts in other nations.
Protecting youth from the potential harms of gambling was the stated aim of the Kenyan government’s 2017 push to hike betting operators’ taxes to 35%. That plan was eventually rolled back to a more sensible 15% rate last September, although the government made up the difference by adding a 20% tax on punters’ winnings.
Some of the same Kenyan politicians who pressed for the tax hike are now urging the government to follow the lead of Uganda, which announced last month that foreign betting operators wouldn’t have their local licenses renewed (although the policy has reportedly yet to be clarified). While this plan smacks of rank protectionism, it was originally painted as (you guessed it) a means of protecting Ugandan youth.