International lottery and gaming operator Tenlot Group has acquired an 85 per cent stake in Kenya Charity Sweepstake (KSC), the country’s oldest public lottery.

KSC was established in Kenya in 1966 with the aim of helping to alleviate poverty and to provide financial support to social causes.

The acquisition by Tenlot will enable the charity sweepstake business to accelerate its social mission through the deployment of a new omni-channel gaming platform with a focus on mobile, and a significant expansion of KSC’s retail presence across the country.

“We see tremendous potential in Kenya. It is an exciting investment for us, as it is one of the world’s leading countries in the use of Mobile Wallet,” said Tenlot chief executive Yossi Abadi.

“Electronic money transfers are as common as sending a text message in most countries. We will leverage this vehicle, while adding innovations to lotteries and gaming, and expect that Kenya will quickly emerge as a showcase for other global markets.”

Tenlot said that the nation of almost 52 million people processes more than 1.7 billion Mobile Wallet transactions a year, accounting for more than 50 per cent of Kenya’s GDP.

“Kenya Charity Sweepstake will definitely have a far greater social impact in the development of Kenyan infrastructure and society than it already has,” Abadi added. “KCS has built a magnificent national gaming infrastructure, in a market with potential of US$500 million, which Tenlot will be able to transform into a force multiplier for progress.”

KCS beneficiaries include thousands of schools, health care programs throughout the country, the Beyond Zero campaign to help reduce child mortality and the spread of infectious diseases, and projects dedicated to the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of street children.

The Kenyan government has recently stepped up efforts to collect taxes from the country’s burgeoning online sports betting industry to support social development, with Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i stating during a recent visit to Kenya Charity Sweepstake House that the Betting Control and Licensing Board should suspend licenses of betting operators who are delinquent in their tax payments. The suspensions would become effective July 1st.