Best M-Pesa Betting Sites in Kenya

We all have different hobbies and ways of passing time. Some prefer to read a book, binge on Netflix for hours to end, or hike in the park. And then there is us- we prefer the thrill that comes to cheering a team, and more so staking our money. Kenya, just like the rest of the world understands that gambling is a social activity with many followers, and therefore legalized it. The Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act mandates the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) to license and regulate gambling in the country. In this article, we will tell you more about gambling in Kenya, specifically how and why to bet on the most common payment method, M-Pesa, and also give you a list of the best sites to place bets with the mobile money company.

What is M-Pesa

M-Pesa is an online payment method that was introduced to Kenyans in 2007. The platform allows users to send money to each other electronically. M-Pesa is owned by Vodafone and Safaricom, the largest mobile network in Kenya. It operates in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Afghanistan, Lesotho, DRC, Ghana, Mozambique, Egypt, and Ethiopia. M means mobile while Pesa is a Swahili word for money. Additionally, and to understand it better, think of a bank without branches- M-Pesa instead of having branches has agents, who collect deposits from customers and also give cash to customers who withdraw.

How Does M-Pesa Work

Once they buy a Safaricom line, a customer goes to an M-Pesa agent, who registers them to that specific line and number with their details. Upon completing the registration, the customer gives the agent cash to deposit for them in exchange for electronic money, which reflects instantly and confirmed by an SMS. The money could be withdrawn by the owner of the line at an agent, or sometimes spent by paying for goods and services at merchant points. A customer needs to input their secret pin to complete any transaction, making it a very secure payment method.

How to Bet with M-Pesa

  1. Go to the sim toolkit on your phone and bring up the M-Pesa menu
  2. Select Lipa na M-Pesa option
  3. Click on ‘pay bill’ on the menu
  4. Enter the business number provided by the online bookmaker
  5. Enter your online betting account number or username
  6. Input the amount you want to deposit
  7. Enter your M-Pesa PIN and press send

If your transaction is successful, you will receive a confirmation message confirming that funds have been deposited into your account. Login to your account and you are good to go!

Is M-Pesa Secure When Betting?

Having been in operation for 15 years, you can stand assured that your money will always be safe with this option. M-Pesa employs an extremely high level of online and offline encryption that has earned a level of trust among its users. Additionally, being a product of a communication company, it is regulated by both the Communication Authority and the Central Bank of Kenya. 

M-Pesa also ranks as a highly secure platform due to the time it takes to resolve issues and help its clients. For instance, if you make a mistake in 

Alternatives to M-Pesa when Betting

Some people would still want to bet but for one reason or another, M-Pesa may not be an option for them. You should not feel left behind as there are different alternatives with m-Pesa, that include-

  • Airtel Money
  • Credit and debit cards
  • E-wallets 
  • Bank Transfer 
  • Cryptocurrency

M-Pesa as a product borrows most of the principles from its mother company, Safaricom and they believe that it is all about you. They have introduced some specific products like Mobile lending with a product called M-Shwari that allows you to get a mobile loan at any time and without collateral. 

Additionally, they offer mobile credit card services through a product called Fuliza, where if you are short of money, they allow you to transact on a negative account depending on your creditworthiness and limit. This means that you could still be able to place bets even without having money with you.

Transactions with M-Pesa are instant. Once you input all the details required and the security PIN, by pressing OK, you only have to wait for a few seconds and the same will be confirmed by an SMS. 

M-Pesa App

M-Pesa does have a mobile app that can be downloaded from the Playstore or Appstore. The app is fast, does not utilize your data, and in a way has extra features like allowing you to store the Paybill of your favorite bookmakers. The apps do not use any mobile data when transacting.

How to Deposit using M-Pesa

Once you have a Safaricom SIM card that is registered, this is the process for you to follow when you want to deposit money into your account to start betting. 

  1. Go to M-Pesa on your mobile phone.
  2. Select 'Lipa na M-Pesa'
  3. Select the 'Pay Bill option
  4. Enter the Business number for the bookmaker you have chosen. These are the Business and account numbers for our top 5 bookmakers.
  • Betway- 880185 (enter account number as “Betway”)
  • 22Bet Kenya- 895599 (account number – 22BET)
  • Mozzartbet- 290059 (enter ‘Mozzartbet' as the Account Number)
  • Betsafe- 7290099 (enter your phone number as the account number)
  • Sahara Games- 290070 (enter SAHARA as the account number)
  1. Enter the amount you wish to deposit.
  2. Enter your M-Pesa PIN and you will receive a confirmation SMS from M-Pesa

How to Withdraw Money Via M-Pesa

M-Pesa withdrawals take almost the same simple process. These are the general steps that you can follow to withdraw your winnings from any bookmaker

  • Log in to your betting account on the bookie you play with.
  • Go to the ‘My Account' tab
  • Select the "Withdraw" button
  • Select "M-Pesa" as your withdrawal method
  • Enter the amount of money you want to withdraw.
  • Enter your M-Pesa account number which is also your mobile number.
  • Enter your account PIN code.
  • Select the ‘Confirm’ button from the drop-down menu.
  • Wait for an SMS from your betting site and M-Pesa confirming that the transaction was a success.

Pros when Betting with M-Pesa

  • Convenience for betting as you can do it from anywhere from the palm of your hand
  • Reliability of the network, even in the most remote areas
  • Accessibility of agents where you can deposit and withdraw funds
  • Handynt mobile app that is pretty fast and data-free
  • Allows banking without a bank account and credit card
  • Safe, secure, and prompts payments

Pros when Betting with M-Pesa

  • Has limits on the money that you can deposit, withdraw, or transact in a day
  • There are transactional charges that you have to incur as a result of betting
  • Prone to scammers who may rob your winnings
  • Not the best for international punters.

Best Betting Sites for Using M-Pesa

Here are the best sites for Kenyan players to use for placing a bet while using M-Pesa.

Betway Kenya

Betway, an internationally reputable company is the best site that you could bet on M-Pesa, and for a good reason. The bookmaker has raised betting standards in Africa and Kenya in particular to international standards. Despite its international reputation, the bookie has incorporated M-Pesa as its primary payment method. They offer punters high odds, allow the building of custom bets for football lovers, and free bets worth Kshs. 5000. Betway allows you to stake using M-Pesa, with instant deposit and withdrawals. 

22Bet Kenya

This bookmaker has earned the top position because they offer a 100% bonus of up to Kshs. 15,000! 22Bet has a sportsbook with over 30 sports you could choose from, and 1000’s betting markets. The bookmaker in addition allows various payment methods, but M-Pesa is the most prominent one. With this bookmaker, you can choose to either play Sports, Casino, or even Live casino. The odds in addition are fairly modest and therefore worth checking out.

Mozzartbet

Let us talk of a bookie who understands the phrase “go big or go home” and dares to implement it. Mozzartbet has an incredible grand jackpot of up to Kshs. 200 million that you could take home if you predicted 20 matches correctly. The most interesting fact about Mozzartbet is that they try to encourage responsible and reasonable betting. For instance, you can place a bet on its casino market for as low as Kshs. 4 and a maximum of Kshs. 10,000 which shows how they are there for the low-income earners at the same time encouraging responsible gambling. It is also worth noting that the bookmaker only allows M-Pesa as its payment option.

Betsafe

Just as the name suggests, this bookie has put safe betting at the core of its operations. Betsafe holds a license from Kenya Betting, Control and Licensing Board which is responsible for regulating all the betting activities in Kenya. They are also certified by responsible gambling bodies like GamCare and are members of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA). The sportsbook has amazing offers for both new and existing punters, an amazing betting margin that is approximately 4.9%, which is pretty high and guarantees an amazing betting experience. Betsafe allows a variety of payment methods, among them M-Pesa which guarantees quick and prompt settlement of bets won.

Sahara Games

Sahara Games is another reputable bookmaker in Kenya because of its focus on casino games. The bookmaker has more than 100 casino options to choose from, in addition to over 20 sports markets. The bookmaker is also generous with its bonuses and promotions that are made better with a 2 million jackpot that can be won by staking Kshs. 20 only. Sahara Games accepts mobile money payments and especially M-Pesa, has amazing customer service that has a reputation to assist clients promptly. 

FAQs

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James is responsible for the Kenyan market on BettingGuide. He has a keen interest in sports betting and Gambling laws in particular. James is a Lawyer practising in East Africa, loves writing, and has a Law Degree from Makerere University, Uganda and a Post Graduate Diploma from the Kenya School of Law, Kenya.

Last updated: 10/6/2022