Kenyan youth Africa’s biggest online gamblers

Millennials in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are increasingly using their mobile phones to bet on football, spending less than $50 per month on average, but Kenya has the highest number of betting youth, who spend over $50 a month on mobile gambling and place bets weekly. This is according to a recent GeoPoll rapid survey carried out among youth between the ages of 17-35 in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

Based on a rapid survey on Millennial spending habits, over 50% of earnings by youth consumers is spent on personal care.

However, the relatively new mobile gambling industry is showing growth among Africa’s youth. The report said gambling was becoming popular among male African Millennials in SSA due to their high affinity towards sports and the proliferation of local sports betting players.

As highlighted in that report, this is still a very nascent industry and in the survey on spending habits, only 3 percent of youth consumers in SSA indicated that they spend part of their income on gambling.

Gambling frequency

Most youth (54%) in SSA have tried their hand at gambling. Kenya has the highest number of youth who have participated in gambling or betting in the past at 76%, followed by Uganda at 57%. Ghana has the least at 42%.

The frequency of gambling is highest among Kenyans. Whilst the rest of the continent’s online gamblers bet around once a month, the majority of Kenyan gamblers bet once a week. Among Kenyan youths, 79% of mobile bets are placed on football matches – particularly English premier league football matches. Football betting reigns as the most popular betting option in all other countries except in South Africa, where lotteries are the top gambling choice.

The mobile phone has become the most convenient tool for those gambling, says the report. 75% of those who bet do so using their mobile phones, with Kenya having the highest mobile gambling usage for gambling at 96%. South Africa, with one of the highest mobile penetrations in Africa, has the lowest usage of the mobile for gambling at 48%.

Kenyan gamblers also spend more on gambling than their counterparts across the country. Most Kenyan youth who do gamble online report that they spend bet once a week, spending about $50 per month. Youth elsewhere spend less than $50 a month and most bet only once a month. Most have never won any amount above $50.

This GeoPoll rapid survey was conducted in March 2017 among 3,879 youth in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania using the GeoPoll mobile App.

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