SportPesa leads Kenyan betting firms in setting up shop in Brazil after 75-year ban on gambling gets lifted

Brazil soccer fans
  • Kenyan betting firms lead by SportPesa are eyeing a piece of Brazil’s sports market estimated to be worth Sh1.4 trillion.
  • According to conservative estimates by Brazilian authorities black market betting in the country stands at about Sh526 billion.
  • The soccer mad nation has lifted the 75-year ban on gambling opening flood gates for betting firms all over the world.

Kenyan betting firms lead by SportPesa are eyeing a piece of Brazil’s sports market estimated to be worth Sh1.4 trillion.

This is after the soccer mad nation lifted the 75-year ban on gambling opening flood gates for betting firms all over the world.

 “It is a market of interest but for now it is too early to say. We have thought about it and we have also contacted the regulators,” SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri said.

Karauri said SportPesa will make a decision later whether to set shop in Brazil—which will allow for both online betting and land-based operations.

The Brazilian presidency has already approved the sports betting law, paving way for establishment of regulations to guide gaming in the soccer mad nation.

Brazil’s U-turn was informed by the sharp growth of the gaming black market and loss of revenue from off-shore betting. According to conservative estimates by Brazilian authorities black market betting in the country stands at about Sh526 billion.

The footballing nation now wants to earn revenue through imposing taxes from the business.

In Brazil, land-based betting firms will be expected to pay tax equivalent to six percent of the bets, which police service will take 2.2 percent, football clubs (2 percent), public schools (1 percent) and 0.5 percent to social security.

It implies benefits will trickle down to all the society and allow the State to harness money lost through illegal offshore sports betting,” a Brazilian commentator said.

In Kenya, gambling generally takes place online with services like M-Pesa allowing users to place bets, pay off losses and get winnings on their phone without needing a bank account.

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