The betting craze in Kenya has celebrities influence written all over it.
From the onset, online betting firms have used celebrities to promote their activities knowing very well the power they have especially over youths.
As the government moves to control the negative effects of betting in our society, we take a look at some of the celebrities who have actively promoted betting.
Wyre aka the Love Child
The R&B and reggae musician has been part of SportPesa, the biggest betting firm in the country, and promoted their activities since they first launched about five years ago.
The self-confessed Arsenal number one fan in Kenya and radio show host has been the face of different betting companies.
Using her radio and massive social media influence, Radull started by endorsing Mcheza, a company associated with former newscaster Jullie Gichuru.
The firm, however, never quite hacked it in the business.
She then moved to Betika where she remains to date.
He won the coveted UEFA Champions League title with Inter Milan 2010, making him the only East African footballer to have achieved the feat.
With this status, Mariga has been the face of Betin, another betting firm controlling the local scene.
Together with Joey Muthengi, formerly a television show host, the duo have become “the betting couple.”
Comedy Group Propesa
They have taken their promotion of Sportpesa and betting as a tease on the gambling firm’s CEO Ronald Karauri but the group have been great promoters of betting which is destroying lives of young people in great numbers.
They have been known to throw the promotions of betting in their videos and once even joked that they bet with Ronald Karauri that they’d get to have his Range Rover for a week if they won in the bet.
And they did. They are still following Kipchumba Murkomen to pay them money they won in a bet with him. Their love for betting is unrivalled.
Mariga’s younger brother Victor Wanyama, who is currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League has been endorsing 1XBET, a foreign betting company trying to penetrate the Kenyan market.
The ODM leader has used his position as patron of Gor Mahia to subtly promote and endorse betting. He has appeared alongside Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri in various matches and sought to be paid to be wearing Sportpesa branded jersey of Gor Mahia.
Sources have revealed that he has been paid as much as Ksh 13 million per match to endorse Sportpesa on various occasions.