How gamblers won Sh380 billion through SportPesa bets

Cosmas Korir

SportPesa’s Emily Gichuki hands over a dummy cheque of Sh208,733,618 to jackpot winner Cosmas Korir at Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi on October 3, 2018. Gamblers won Sh380bn between 2013 and 2019 through SportPesa bets.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenyan gamblers won Sh380.53 billion in betting payouts from SportPesa between November 2013 and June 2019 when the company operated under Pevans East Africa, underscoring the scale of the prizes that are fuelling the betting craze.

The amount represents 85 percent of the Sh447.33 billion that gamblers staked in the period, according to Pevans’ audited financial statements and management accounts seen by the Business Daily.

Most punters use part of their winnings to place new bets, meaning that the sums spent on betting represent the impact of recycled profits as well as growth in the number of customers and intensity of gambling.

The payouts comprise ordinary bets and jackpots where winners earn millions of shillings, pointing to the pull of the betting craze as Kenyans eye quick cash from popular sporting events such as football.

A small group of lucky punters has struck it rich, including winners of mega jackpots. Most participants, however, eventually book substantial losses from the activity.

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