As Burkina Faso prepare to take on the might of Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations final taking place later today in Soccer City, South Africa, not a few Kenyans will fancy a flutter on the result, to put perhaps Sh100 on the ‘Stallions’ to beat the ‘Super Eagles’ for the first time, or on who will score the first goal.
KENYA’S GROWING GAMBLING MARKET
Betting on race courses has been going in Kenya since the 1950s and in more recent times sports-betting has spread to cover the English Premier League (EPL), Formula 1 racing, basketball, tennis, golf and other sports as companies such as Gaming International have developed the market.
In 2005, the Jockey Club of Kenya got together with the Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Company from South Africa in a deal to share betting pools. Gaming International entered the Kenya market in 2011 and now have branches in central Nairobi and Westlands. Kenyans can now bet on a daily basis (whether that is good news is another matter).
The Head of Betting at the Jockey Club of Kenya, John Mutua recently told the Business Daily, “We have betting [on horse racing] from different parts of the world including South Africa, UK, Singapore, Mauritius, Dubai and Zimbabwe”.
However, the Kenya Forum has a word of caution for the country’s would-be punters.
Also reported in the Business Daily last week, based on a Reuters news feed, was the investigation into global match-fixing in which it is believed hundreds of football matches were fixed. The alleged corruption in football is said to be linked to Asian betting syndicates and organised crime in an international betting scam run from Singapore.
680 ‘SUSPICIOUS’ MATCHES
Some 380 ‘suspicious’ matches played between 2008 and 2011, including games in the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League, have been investigated by European police forces and Europol, the European-wide anticrime agency. A further 300 matches played in Africa, Asia and Latin America over the same period are also being investigated.
German police have already arrested 14 people in connection with the match-fixing scandal and Austrian police are investigating a further 20 people, including players, while police in Singapore are working with the Italian authorities looking into fraud, money laundering and match-fixing allegations.
So here are the Kenya Forum’s words of advice and caution to readers: remember the old adage – “It is a sin to bet… unless you are certain to win”.