A partnership between global gaming company Intralot and Acumen Communications Ltd (ACL) has produced mCHEZA. This is the latest company to be launched in the expanding sports betting industry in Kenya.
At the official launch in the capital city of Nairobi, a company spokesperson stated: “mCHEZA is a simple, fun and interactive platform on which fans can put their money on football games across 277 leagues globally. mCHEZA will leverage the mobile money platform M-PESA which has over 13.9 million monthly users.”
Peter Karimi, mCHEZA CEO, said of the announcement: “At launch phase Mcheza is a pre-game betting platform. Numerous sports, markets and betting modes will be incorporated on the platform in Quarter 1 of 2016 with live betting to follow thereafter. The platform is working on a strategic expansion plan into other East African markets from 2016.”
Karimi added that the partnership will invest $15m (£10m) over the next three years in a bid to expand the profile of sports betting in East Africa. He said: “We want to tap into the Kenyan market but with responsible betting in order to give enthusiasts a different experience.”
Antonis Markopuolos, Intralot Vice-President Business Development, Europe and Africa, highlighted the appreciation for sport in the region as evidence of opportunity for widespread interest in gaming. He said: “Africa’s appreciation for sports has also indicated an increased interest in gaming across the continent. By investing in this market, we look forward to improving the lives of Kenyans as they connect with their favorite teams.”
ACL Director and news anchor, Julie Gichuru, explained how mCHEZA will also nurture young sporting talent in Kenya. She said: “Over and above being fun, mCHEZA is nurturing local talent by identifying and sponsoring local sports initiatives that try to uplift the living standards of the marginalized through sport.”
A nationwide marketing campaign on behalf of mCHEZA will be spearheaded by Arimus Media Ltd. The mCheza site went live on Friday December 18th.