Swedish firm bets on Kenya as regional hub

What you need to know:

  • Cheza Gaming Ltd., a regional sport betting and gaming operator, is set to launch SpiffX’s Take5live betting site locally.
  • Cheza services are currently provided on the Safaricom network by a third party, and allows customers to download and play games at a subscription fee of Sh10 per day.

Swedish betting firm, SpiffX, has entered Kenya after signing a deal with Cheza Gaming Limited.

The partnership is meant to give the Swedish firm an entry into the Africa market.

Kenya’s mobile-based sports betting industry has recorded exponential growth aided by the ease of placing bets online or through SMS and paying via mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money. 

The betting firms, however, still operate in a legal grey area and face stringent regulations in a Bill currently before Parliament.

“We are extremely happy to enter into a partnership with Cheza Gaming and for the opportunity to enter the African betting market.

“The market in the African countries is primarily driven by mobile and the lower amount at each session.

“Today, there are not many European companies established in Africa but many looking with great interest at this growth,” said Lennart Gillberg co-founder and sales manager of SpiffX.

Cheza, a regional sport betting and gaming operator, is set to launch SpiffX’s Take5live betting site locally in the coming months, the firm said in a statement on Thursday.

SpiffX is banking on the wide usage of mobile phones and the presence of Cheza in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda to grow its betting products in Africa.

The entry of Take5Live comes at a time when Kenya is swarming with a dozen betting firms necessitating the Betting Control and Licensing Board to suspend issuance of new permits.

The partnership will see Cheza Gaming diversify its products to create new revenue streams.

“We are always looking for new and suitable products to engage our customers and to distinguish ourselves from our competitors.

“We are very pleased to cooperate with SpiffX and look forward to roll out their products in the markets we operate in,” says Barney Barrow, chairman and chief executive office at Cheza Gaming Limited.

Sports gambling platforms presently in Kenya include Betway — the official sponsor of West Ham United — and other players such as EliteBet, Betin, JustBet, Bet365, BetYetu, eazibet, Lucky2u, 256Bet, Royal Kenya Bets and go-bet.

“In some African countries, sports betting developed very rapidly and it continues to increase fast,” said Mr Gillberg.

“Our Index market and Take5Live meet the requirements market asks for. Being able to offer betting with less effort and also able to get a much higher dividend than just buying a usual odds from a traditional operator is a plus on the African market.

“In addition, conducted mostly sports betting in Africa in a social context which makes our Tak5Live extra interesting.”