BetLion: Why we ventured into Kenyan sports gaming

Wednesday March 18 2020

BetLion Managing Director Spencer Okach speaks during the launch of the betting firm in Nairobi last on December 13, 2018. Operations director Peter Stagles (left) looks on. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |


With an avalanche of gaming companies launching in Kenya, BetLion Managing Director SPENCER OKACH explains why his firm decided to join sports betting fray:

Why did BetLion decide to dive into a crowded market?

Kenya has a competitive and vibrant market. However, I wouldn’t say that the market is crowded. There are market niches still underserved and we feel any market can accommodate a new entrant, if that entrant improves upon existing offerings.

A strong focus on customer service, a greater variety of sports and markets combined with products specific to Kenya all help in entering this vibrant betting market.

From an investor level, Kenya remains one of the most attractive countries in Africa to do business. BetLion is a Pan-African gaming brand, as such an opportunity to do business in Kenya couldn’t be passed.

Our headquarters are located in Kenya, and we are a Kenyan run company.

Kenya further boasts of two items attractive to any gaming investor: high internet penetration and robust payment systems (mobile money). Finally, is the people’s love for sport. We are keen on sport development. It will be an honor to develop sport where it is idolised.

What fresh, different offerings does BetLion bring into the market?

First is an unrivalled personalised customer service.

All customers on registration are assigned an account manager, who is available round the clock to handle their gaming needs through: phone SMS and social media, whichever is convenient to the customer. Second, we have put up a product construct that meets the evolving gaming needs of the customer.

Our jackpots, for instance, is made up of tier 1 teams, all well known to the customers.

We are offering Africa’s largest jackpot worth 350 million shillings, in a format already familiar to customers. In addition, we have a developed a data savvy platform available on web, mobile and Android app that is comprehensive in both sport and market offerings.

Kenyans should gear up to a wholesome gaming experience.

Why have you decided to go for such a huge jackpot?

As BetLion, we believe that the consumer deserves the best product. As such we decided to honor them by giving them largest jackpot in Africa in a format that is already well received by Kenyans. Sh350 million is a goliath amount up for grabs!

How is the BetLion structure on the ground? Do you have betting shops, or everything is online?

We are primarily an online gaming company.

Customers have the ability to bet through SMS, USSD, Web and our BetLion App.

What is your take on the government’s taxation laws on gaming in Kenya?

The revised taxation laws are a pragmatic response to a growing and vibrant industry.

We are proud to be contributing towards the tax revenues and development of Kenya.

How does BetLion seek to support the development of Kenyan football in particular and sport in general?

BetLion’s is summed up by our slogan #SportJustGotBetter. We appreciate that without the sport there will be no betting.

We aim to support sport in three ways. Sponsorships and partnerships, where we shall we will pay institutions or enter into revenue share agreements to mutually enjoy each other’s assets. This is already happening in Uganda with the National Football team.

Second, is offering technical support insofar as coaching and sport business is concerned.

Sponsorships are good, but if we train sport managers in this country to build up self-sustaining models, then we can proudly say we did develop sport.

Grassroots and community sport play are very important role in not only identifying new talents but also unifying people. BetLion commits to support such initiatives

In your opinion, what's the future of sports gaming in Kenya?

Rewarding and exciting to both gaming companies and their customers. The increased competition will see great product constructs and a greater offering for customers which is in the customer’s benefit!

With reports on youths getting addicted to gaming, what is BetLion’s strategy to promote responsible gaming?

When gaming stops being fun (this is entertainment) then one needs to stop. We offer a self-exclusion option that can be easily implemented by a customer's request.
They will need to specify the period of time you wish to be self-excluded for, ranging from six months to a permanent exclusion. We want all people who play with BetLion to play responsibly.