A survey conducted by the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and the Financial Sector Deepening Trust – Kenya (FSD Kenya) have ranked Nakuru as the leading county in betting and gambling.
The findings placed Nakuru with over a quarter of the population hooked to game-betting and other forms of gambling.
The second on the list is West Pokot with 25 per cent, Nyandarua county (23.7 per cent), Busia (22.3 per cent) and Trans Nzoia with 20.9 per cent.
Others on the list are Siaya with 19.3 per cent, Nairobi (19 per cent), Machakos, Murang’a, and Kajiado with 18.5, 17 and 16.9 respectively.
The survey findings further listed the counties with the least percentage of people into betting with some having barely 1 per cent.
These are; Garissa with 0.5 per cent, (0.7 per cent), Wajir (1.5 per cent), Nandi and Tanariver with 3.8 and 4.1 per cent.
Others are Kwale, Meru, Mandera, Samburu and Narok with 4.6, 5.1, 6.4 and 6.6 per cent respectively.
The gambling market is slowly getting increasingly crowded and the growing trend is seemingly here to stay.
While it’s meant as a form of entertainment, ease of access regardless of government strict regulations, combined with Kenyans’ growing obsession make online betting a fast-growing, yet potentially risky activity.
This could be associated with high-frequency betting, increased advertising and marketing for online betting among other things.
It’s unclear whether the growing prevalence of gambling across the country will keep growing although data show the amount of money being wagered is high and rising.
For instance, a report by Safaricom indicated that the value of bets through M-Pesa jumped by 69 per cent to Ksh83.2 billion in the six-month period that ended September 2021 compared with Ksh49.2 billion in the prior year.
At the same time, the volume of bets funded from M-Pesa accounts hiked by 84.7 per cent to 347.8 million in the six-month period by comparison to previous years.