This may come as a surprise to some, but Kenya is currently the third largest gambling market on the African continent. It all started more than 70 years ago, when Kenya gained its independence from the United Kingdom; that’s when it moved away from the very strict colonial laws that were in place until 1963, legalizing some casino games and sports betting.
In 1966, the Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act passed a regulatory legislation that required operators to acquire a local licence and pay taxes. The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), was appointed as the Government’s regulatory body and was granted the capacity to sanction unlicensed operations.
In terms of casino online, Kenya adopted a new Gaming Bill in 2019 that legalized and regulated the sector. The bill also introduced several controversial measures, but this did not stop the local scene from growing. Nowadays, there are over 50 Kenya casino sites online operating legally and offering a wide variety of games and products for players to choose from.
If you are looking to find which is the best online casino in Kenya, we have prepared a list that presents you with all the top available operators in this market. From detailed information regarding promotional bonuses advertised by each of these online casinos, to banking options, licensing and games on display; we will walk you through everything you need to know to make the best possible decision.
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With no less than 917 online casino sites, Kenya is one of the top gambling markets in Africa, and this number continues to grow from one year to another. As such, narrowing down the best current establishments can only be done by taking into consideration a series of important factors.
Since Kenya is a regulated market, both local and international online casinos need a licence issued by the BCLB, in order to operate legally. That’s the first thing our experts check. Moving forward, these crucial features are thoroughly checked before any online casino makes it on our list.
The range of games offered by online casinos in Kenya is the second most important aspect to consider in our checklist. A lot will just focus on quantity, boasting thousands of casino games on display, yet nowadays, quality comes first. On average, an online casino player will try around 50 different games overall, so it’s more important to offer only high-quality products from accredited game providers. The most popular categories at the moment are video slots, Progressive Jackpots, table and live casino games. Any respectable casino should make sure to offer a fair share of these to meet every preference.
Kenyan players should be able to enjoy their favourite online casino games in their local currency. It’s another aspect that separates top-tier operators from the rest. Top entries in our list all offer Kenyan shilling (KES), making it a lot easier for locals to keep track of their balance and bankroll while avoiding currency conversion costs.
All the current industry-leading game providers are present on the Kenyan online gambling market, and every top casino in our list offers games from just about all of them. In terms of popularity, NetEnt is currently occupying the first position, followed closely by Quickspin, Playtech, Microgaming, Play’n GO, Dragonfish and Evolution Gaming.
The range and quality of the promotional bonuses offered by casinos is another important factor that can help you identify the best operators on the market. In terms of welcome offers, the best online casino bonus Kenya has to offer is usually a 100% match up to 12,000 KES (100 USD); beyond that, top operators like to follow up with generous reload bonuses, such as 50% up to 6,000 KES (50 USD), free spins, comps and game-specific offers.
Having a wide range of banking options to choose from is crucial for online players nowadays. Online casinos understand the importance of being able to deposit and cash out fast, which is why most of them have made sure to integrate the best and most popular payment methods out there. Credit and debit cards are the go-to method for Kenyan players these days, followed by e-Wallets where, surprisingly, PayPal has taken the lead above Skrill and Neteller. Then you have mobile dedicated solutions such as Airtel Money, M-Pesa and Safaricom, followed by the increasingly popular cryptocurrencies, where Bitcoin and Ethereum predominate.
The population’s access to the Internet and the use of smartphones have both registered a massive increase in the past couple of years; thus leading companies and operators to focus more and more on the mobile environment. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that all the best online casinos from Kenya are offering either a downloadable or an instant play app; which are compatible with all major operating systems, so that players can enjoy their favourite games from literally anywhere.
All forms of gambling are currently legal in Kenya, and any person over 18 years old is allowed to place real money bets with licensed operators. The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), is the local governing body that administers all relevant gambling legislation, including both online and land-based casinos. Aside from this, BLCB is also in charge of issuing licences, enforcing responsible gaming guidelines, and protecting players from fraud.
Despite this, finding an online casino Kenya-based can be quite a difficult task. Most of the available ones in this market are international, usually licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or Curaçao N.V. One of the offshore operators currently holding a local licence granted by the BCLB, is 22Bet.
As for gambling taxation, Kenya had one of the highest rates worldwide at 20% up until 2020, which was also the highest out of every other African country. In 2021, the Finance Committee reduced the levy to only 7.5%.
Casino Kenya operators are subjected to this fee as well, in the sense that they must pay this 7.5% on all winnings registered by players. Furthermore, casinos also have to pay a 15% provisional tax for gambling advertisements.
The environment of online gambling in Kenya is perfectly safe only if you register and play in licensed casinos. Whether these are some of the few local ones that are certified and regulated by the BCLB, or international operators holding MGA and UKGC licences, you can always have the certainty that these places are periodically audited and checked for fairness.
Betika Casino, 22Bet and 1xBet are some of the most popular international casinos available in Kenya. Of course, there are also several Kenya casino operators with a very bad reputation that have been blacklisted. So, whenever trying out a new casino, you should always check if it still operates under an active licence and if it has a good overall reputation.
As mentioned before, the online casino Kenya landscape is very much up to speed with all the novelties and modern solutions in the gambling environment. Banking is no exception and, for starters, all top-tier casinos present in this market have made sure to integrate the KES currency in order to deliver the most user-friendly experience to local players.
As for payment methods, all the top casinos online Kenya offer credit/debit cards deposits and withdrawals, bank transfers and e-wallets such as PayPal, Skrill and Neteller. Mobile players can use dedicated solutions such as Airtel Money, M-Pesa and Safaricom; while crypto enthusiasts will be happy to find an increasing number of Casinos offering Bitcoin and several other digital currencies.
If you have only just started to play casino online in Kenya, you might not be aware of the constant growth this industry has registered over the past few years. Along with an increasingly high Internet availability and smartphone usage, the Kenyan casino industry has all it needs to continue its fast-ascending course.
The presence of international operators also helps local Kenya casino sites to evolve their offered products and services. This could lead to the whole industry setting new records in terms of memberships and revenue. However, it may not be all smooth sailing for online casinos. Recent talks about reinstating a 20% tax for operators, applied to the amounts wagered by players, could seriously slow down the Kenyan iGaming industry. What remains to be seen is if this tax policy will finally be adopted by the authorities.
Yes, gambling is allowed and any person that has turned 18 can register and play on online casino sites in Kenya.
There are plenty of online casinos in Kenya and 30 licensed land-based ones, so finding the best gambling site in Kenya will require some research and effort.
Yes, online gambling is legal in Kenya. A Kenya online casino can operate if licensed by the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).
The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) is also responsible for regulating local online casino operators.
Yes, players are subjected to a 7,5% tax on their winnings, withheld by the operators and remitted to the tax authorities.
Yes, from the best online casino in Kenya to average ones, KES is offered as the primary currency in order to offer locals a prime user experience.