Kenya marketspace deemed unstable but full of opportunities
Four of Kenya’s most experienced experts in the betting industry spoke of the country’s regulations at the SBC Digital – Africa event, in a panel called the ‘Land of Opportunity?: The changing face of gaming in Kenya’.
BetLion’s regional managing director, Spencer Okach, highlighted some of the modifications in financial legislation as being one of the main causes as to why Kenya has been shown as being an unstable market for operators. He went on to say that Kenya’s Finance Bill changes annually, which makes it difficult for planning, as he stated that the Bill is now being reviewed rendering the market quite unstable at this moment.
Truwave CEO, Imran Bukhari, also spoke of the local regulations, stating that all firms who are interested in stepping foot into the Kenyan market have to be agile and need to move fast in order to handle the regulatory obstacles.
He went on to say:
“Essentially, my observation would be that the companies who are nimble in terms of moving quickly, having the products which are the right fit for the market and have the ability to switch between – an ability to have maybe more than one – territories where they operate, are the ones who can negate the pressure.”
Okach further mentioned that even though there are many issues with regulation in the country, Kenya is still full of opportunities, as he stated that compared to many other regions he has seen, none aside from South Africa are as stable as the Kenyan marketspace.
Moreover, once compared to most markets in Africa, Okach said that Kenya is the one where the majority of the population has adapted to mobile money and are beginning to quickly trust it more and more, with the telecommunication firms fully embracing it and making sure that it functions properly, which in turn offers many chances for operators.
Country manager in Nigeria for LiveScore Group, Dominic Field, saw eye-to-eye with Okach as he underlined the country’s instability when it comes to regulations in the past, however he also stated that the country does indeed offer some attractive opportunities for companies.
Field also said that the inconsistency of the regulations in Kenya mean that bigger corporations will find more success in the market, since they can handle the effect of major changes in finance and legislation better than a smaller firm would be able to. He highlighted changes in taxes and the freezing of mobile payments as some of the main examples of instability in the country.
He also further noted:
“If you’re going to come with a unique product, if you’ve got something that allows you to differentiate yourself in what is a very competitive field, then absolutely, I think it can be great. I think it comes down to product, and understanding the demographic, its understanding what the end user is using – the type of devices, the browser. When it comes to African countries, Kenya is a huge opportunity.”