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Unemployed bettors likely to seek alternative channels, survey shows

By Hillary Orinde | July 18th 2019
Bettors follow the outcomes of games at a betting shop in City Market, Nairobi in 2017. [File, Standard]

The Kenyan media industry is staring at a Sh14 billion loss in advertising revenue, a new report has revealed.

The joint report survey by Ipsos and GeoPoll says the slump, representing 10 per cent of the media’s advertisement earnings, will be occasioned by the suspension of betting firms in the country.

“As a result of the suspension, media stations airing major football tournaments could expect to reach close to 20 per cent fewer audiences, than originally planned,” the report said.

It adds: “With the reduction in media budgets, marketing budgets can focus on consumer conversion marketing activities, making use of their disposable income”.

However, poor, hard-nosed punters are not about to be dissuaded from the ‘vice’.

The research found out, the unemployed lot (28 per cent of bettors) are likely to seek alternative betting channels.

The report, titled ‘Unpacking Betting in Kenya’, also notes that bettors are unhappy with the suspension of betting with one out of five, saying they will never watch a major football tournament again.

“Six out of 10 of bettors are looking to spend their money on other items or other betting channels,” the report reads, noting that those who are unemployed are more likely to seek alternative betting channels.

“Whilst 40 per cent of bettors intend to save this money, 60 per cent intend to spend it, either on other items (35 per cent) or other betting channels (25 per cent)”

It says bettors with a monthly household income of more than Sh77,000 are most likely to use the money they would use to bet, to spend on other items.

It is not all doom as the report notes that the decline in betting firms’ advertising expenditure, could bring more opportunities for other advertisers.

It says the less clutter of betting ads in the media could bring greater visibility for the other advertisers.


On July 10, the Betting Control and Licensing Board ordered telecommunications firms to suspend pay bill numbers and shortcodes for 27 betting firms.

The BCLB indicated that these firms did not meet the licence renewal requirements, hence the non-renewal of licenses.

On July 11, bettors were given up to the night of July 12 to withdraw money deposited in sports betting companies’ wallets or lose it.

Come July 12 and Digital lenders refuted claims that their borrowers were using loans for gambling.

On July 16 the government deported 17 foreign directors of gambling company it said were illegally engaged in the business.

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