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The rise of Mobile Gambling, a Threat to the Alcohol Industry in Kenya

Peter Musila 2 years ago

The increasing desire for quick among the youth in the country has led to spending much time on activities such as betting in a bid to achieve their swift fortunes.

According to Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) Managing Director Jane Karuku, betting has posed as a serious competitor to local alcohol business in the country.

“Betting is a serious competitor. When you walk into any shopping center, the proportion of betting shops is probably the highest, and when youth get in, there will be a betting shop then a bar,” said Ms. Karuku.

“The frequency of how these people spend time is more on the betting because it has been glorified as a get-rich-quick investment.”

Recently, interior ministry CS Fred Matiangi had similar sentiments citing that the youth have been so much into betting, looking for quick riches something which has seen at least 500,000 youth being blacklisted by lending firms after they borrowed to gamble.

The CS added that there is a need for the country to rethink about the practice and that all gambling licenses in the county will be suspended as from July 1, 2019, until the companies show to prove to tax compliance.

KBL comes after Capital Markets Authority made a similar complaint in 2017 saying the youth was not investing in shares at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) due to much betting.

“We get more business from men than women. Women’s consumption is very low driven by culture, religion, and affordability,” said Ms. Karuku.

Alcohol consumption in the country has been on the low in comparison to Uganda and Tanzania.

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