Intralot ventures into Kenya’s betting market

NAIROBI, KENYA:  Global gaming company Intralot has announced a partnership with Acumen Communications Limited (ACL) to launch mCHEZA, a sports gaming platform aimed at enhancing gaming in Kenya.  
mCHEZA is a simple, fun and interactive platform on which fans can put their money on football games across 277 leagues globally. Registration can be done by simply sending the word `cheza' to 29888. mCHEZA will leverage the mobile money platform M-PESA which has over 13.9 million monthly users.  
Fans can load their gaming wallet via M-PESA Paybill number 295525, and play as many times as possible by sending a short text message to 29888. The first 10,00o people to sign up to mCHEZA will receive Sh100 credit in their game account. Acumen Communications Limited is authorized and regulated by the Betting Control and Licencing Board of Kenya under the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, Cap 131, Laws of Kenya. ACL is registered under Licence number 780. The process has been ongoing from 2012 with intensive research and planning followed by establishment of the partnership and licensing in 2014.  
Speaking during a press conference, mCHEZA Chief Executive Officer Peter Karimi noted that the partnership will invest Sh150 million ($15m) across East Africa over the next 3 years in order to raise the profile and impact of sports gaming in the region.  
"At launch phase Mcheza is a pre-game betting platform. Numerous sports, markets and betting modes will be incorporated on the platform in Quarter 1 of 2016 with live betting to follow thereafter. The platform is working on a strategic expansion plan into other East African markets from 2016," said Peter
ACL Director Julie Gichuru noted that mCHEZA will scout for and uplift Kenya's highly talented but less fortunate footballers at county level. They are also looking to sponsor national teams in various sports fields.  
"Over and above being fun, mCH EZA is nurturing local talent by identifying and sponsoring local sports initiatives that try to uplift the living standards of the marginalized through sport. We are also pleased that this partnership with Intralot will build credibility among our customers by holding high standards in gaming," noted Julie.  
On his part, Intralot Vice-President Business Development, Europe and Africa Antonis Markopuolos expressed excitement over entering the Kenyan market. He cited their research which indicated an increased potential in the growth of gaming Africa.

Africa's appreciation for sports has also indicated an increased interest in gaming across the continent. By investing in this market; we look forward to improving the lives of Kenyans as they connect with their favorite teams," he said.  
mCH EZA's aggressive countrywide marketing campaign will be spearheaded by Arimus Media Limited. Other corporate organizations that are working closely with mCHEZA include EABL.  
ACL Marketing Lead Consultant John Seel noted that strategic partnerships have been put in place in order to engage better with customers.  
"We have engaged diverse and reputable organizations in order to ensure an all-round valuable customer experience, ranging from entertainment to financial management," said John Seel.  
PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that Kenyan gaming industry generated more than Shl.98 billion in revenue in 2014. By 2018, the report authors, total gaming in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria will be worth $37 billion.

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