Last updated 1 year ago | By Chrispine Magak
News that the President of Uganda — Yoweri Museveni - had banned betting shocked many in the region.
That Museveni has directed his government not to issue or renew licences to sports betting firms has not gone down well with the youth, including those in Kenya.
Pablo Escobar, a staunch Gor Mahia fan and an ‘investor’ who has been placing bets since 2014 — when SportPesa set foot in Kenya — is completely against the idea of banning sports betting.
While recalling his highest win on SportPesa, the businessman explained how important betting is to jobless youth.
“Hii kitu imesaidia wakenya wengi sana. I remember it like yesterday, when I won Sh95,000 on a multi-bet. Betting ikiisha pia mimi naisha (if betting is banned, that will be the end of me),” he told Let’s Bet.
His counterpart, James Orito, a strong AFC Leopards fan also involved in Ingwe Fan TV channel, expressed the same feelings, but with a rather different view. He says sports betting should not be banned in Kenya because the industry forms the backbone of sports in the country.
“Even in my weirdest imagination, sports betting should never be banned in Kenya. Let what happens in Uganda be, but not in Kenya. Teams and leagues sponsored by betting companies would be big the losers,” he said.
Halima Hanii, who has been betting for eight months, and has pocketed Sh45, 898 as her highest winning, can’t imagine that sports betting can be banned anywhere.
“The Kenyan government should not think of banning betting because it has become a side-hustle for many people. In fact, most people depend on betting to pay their rents, buy food and pay other bills,” she told Let’s Bet.