BetLion hit the local news when they launched in style with a Kes 350 M Jackpot. This was back in 2018. It was surely destined to take over Sportpesa – this giant had a Kes 225 Million jackpot at that time. They had plans of giving Sportpesa and Betin a run for their money; only that they had it easier than anticipated. Spencer Oketch, BetLion’s managing director had opened shop in Uganda and they spread to the Kenyan market. This Pan African Company runs betting firms in 8 countries including Nigeria and Zambia. I find it amusing that it’s called Lionsbet over there while we refer to this bookie as BetLion. This bookie has it’s headquarters in Kenya. (The head offices are in Hurlingham for the curious 😉)
- both Airtel Money and M-Pesa as deposit and withdrawal options
- You can bet by SMS too
- super easy and fun registration process
- Fast cash out feature
- Cash back for 4 out of 5 correct picks
- They do not actually have a desktop version of the site
BetLion at a glance
BetLion was among the few bookies that got a clean bill from the taxman after the Kenyan gambling laws were revised in 2019. This was the end of the road for their competitors. The bookie made the most of this opportunity and revamped their website and mobile app at this time. Instant Pay-outs were introduced at this time.
This sportsbook is currently having events in all the popular sports
However, they do not have esports or casino games. BetLion showcases games from all soccer leagues including the smaller ones.
They offer both Airtel Money and M-Pesa as deposit and withdrawal options
Here, you can deposit through their M-Pesa pay bill number 212 927 or their Airtel paybill number 136 680
You can bet by SMS too
Each game has a unique code (they call it the game ID)
SMS your prediction to 40418 in this SMS gameID#pick#amount
If I wanted to bet Kes 100 that the away team would win this game, I would SMS 09329#2#100 to 40418. Each SMS costs kes 2 (charged as airtime by your mobile operator) and you’ll receive an SMS confirming that your bet has been placed.
The super easy and fun registration process
Every new user is entitled to a Kes 20 free bet and the best part is that you get to use this free bet and create an account simultaneously in just one SMS. SMS gameID#pick#FB to 40418 and you will have placed a bet with the bonus as stake. You’ll receive an SMS with credentials you’ll use to login to the website and app. Innovative.
Fast cash out feature
You can either request for a full or partial cash out. Please note that this feature only works for games that BetLion is showcasing as in-play too. I use this cash-out feature all the time; especially on multi-bets. Let’s say that I have a running multi-bet slip with four picks. Three matches have ended in my favor and the final one is in-play but it’s not going as I anticipated. I’ll just cash out instead of risking it all.
Cash back for 4 out of 5 correct picks
This is why I love BetLion. If you lose by one game in multi bets of 5 and above games, you get your back as a bonus. They call it the “second chance free bet”. They’ll only refund up to Kes 1,000 though. Here are the terms.
They do not actually have a desktop version of the site
I understand that 80% of Kenyans use their mobile phones to place bets but the desktop experience could do with some improve. Only 50% of the screen real estate ii in use at any given time and there’s still room for a match tracker/stats or sports livestream.
BetLion Overall review verdict
BetLion is my bookie of choice. I give them a 4.5 star because of the missing free sports livestream feature.
BetLion customer service
The easiest way of reaching out to their customer support team is by commenting on their Facebook posts. They are most responsive here.
BetLion in Kenya: How do they operate?
Create an account by registering at https://mobile.BetLion.ke/Register/register
Fill in your phone number and you will receive your 4-digit PIN by SMS. This will be your default password but you can change it by visiting “my account” from the dashboard.
The BetLion Platform
There’s an 8-game daily jackpot.
They call it the midweek jackpot. This week’s prize stands at Kes 15 Million. Bonuses are also given for 7 and 6 correct picks (capped at Kes 15 million max)
There’s a Piga Pena Virtual
Loosely translated to “take the penalty”. Predict where the ball will go. The net is divided into six sections and you’ll get your stake multiplied by 7.5 when it lands in the section you picked. You get your stake multiplied by 8.5
There’s a virtual league
Its run’s 24/7 and each game is one minute long.
Welcome Bonus and Promotions at BetLion
Free bet is offered for first time depositors under the rules here : https://mobile.betlion.ke/Promotions/promoFreeBet
BetLion also offer the second chance free bet refunds as mentioned before – you get your stake back if 1 selection in your 5+ multibet loses.
BetLion VIP CLUB
If you qualify to become a VIP, you’ll get 5% cash back for all the losses of the week. VIPS get slightly higher odds and their max stake limits are different too. Accounts are automatically upgraded to VIP once they meet the requirements. BetLion have hinted that they take consistency, loyalty, stake amounts and Deposits into consideration.
‘Once you place 5 bets each week, with the minimum odd being 2.0, you will get a free bet limited to Kes 500.
Quality of odds
Their odds are similar to those of other bookies. BetLion is charging the 20% withholding tax too on all stakes and you have to plan accordingly lest you end up in the red.
BetLion Betting limits
Kes 20 is the minimum stake you could bet with at BetLion. There’s no maximum staking limit but Kes 1 million is the maximum they’ll pay out on any slip. The Jackpot is exempted from this rue. Please note that Kes 300,000 is the maximum you could deposit on BetLion each day due to M-Pesa transaction limits.
BetLion Mobile Options
You can bet through the app, through the website or by SMS.
I believe that BetLion is built on (the now defunct) the same platform as Betpawa. They have similar features, same limits and the same interface.
Victor Chandler. This British tycoon owns the highest number of shares at BetLion
I’m Kanyi Muturi and am from Tabuga, a small village in Nakuru. I have been following all sports since I was a kid and have been interested in the gambling side of sports since I was in high school. It took me a little while to get a grasp on all of the different gambling terminology and understand how confusing and complicated it can all seem when you first start.
Are you a professional gambler?
I am a successful gambler. But make no mistake about it: I’m a long-time recreational sports bettor. I’m not a professional gambler. I’m not claiming to be a professional gambler. I’ve never, to my recollection, even been acquainted with a professional gambler. And far be it from me to make the preposterous claim that following my advice will turn you into a professional gambler. It ain’t about that. Not here it ain’t. I just want to teach you a new form of recreation, a fun new pastime in what can sometimes be an unfun life.