Written by:
Damjan Jugovic Spajic
Fact checked by:
Alex Windsor
Updated:
March 14, 2024

International Betting Sites that Accept M-Pesa

International Betting Sites that Accept M-Pesa

The favorite “Mobile Money” service of most African sports betting enthusiasts, M-Pesa was launched by Vodafone and Safaricom in 2007. Its massive popularity stems from simplicity and convenience – using M-Pesa is hardly any different than sending a text message while you’re benefiting from vastly improved security.

When signing up with betting sites that support M-Pesa, you only need to tap “Pay Bill” in your phone’s SIM toolkit, enter the sportsbook’s paybill (business) number, and select the amount of cash you want to deposit.

If you want to learn more about international betting sites that accept M-Pesa, I’m happy to guide you to the best bookies, explain how they work, and help you learn everything that M-Pesa banking options have to offer.

How M-Pesa Betting Works Internationally

Although M-Pesa is exclusive to Africa (and Afghanistan in Asia), it’s a go-to mobile payment service for most sports betting enjoyers in Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, Ghana, and several other countries.

It’s a mobile money transfer platform that allows users to send or receive cash and pay bills/products instantly from their phones. Transaction fees are present but exceptionally low, and the fact that payments are processed nearly instantly plays a key factor in its popularity.

As a branchless mobile payment service, M-Pesa cuts out the middleman and thoroughly streamlines the process of verifying payments.

Roughly half of the country’s GDP is processed by M-Pesa, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most betting sites in Kenya jumped at the opportunity to onboard this payment method – some even work exclusively with M-Pesa payments (BetAfriq).

International Online Betting Sites Accepting M-Pesa

If you don’t want to wait hours or days for your money to arrive in your sportsbook’s account (or your wallet), I warmly recommend signing up with betting sites that accept M-Pesa. Beyond speed and simplicity, this payment method also offers superb transaction security.

As I mentioned, M-Pesa is widely available throughout African countries, but not all betting sites that support it are made equal. I’ve shortlisted 5 top sportsbooks that allow users to pay and receive cash via M-Pesa mobile service, so stick with me as I review them.

Top International Betting Sites Accepting M-Pesa

  1. 🥇MelBet
  2. 🥈Helabet
  3. 🥉BetAfriq
  4. 🎖️BetLion
  5. 🏅OdiBets

🥇MelBet

MelBet Homepage

MelBet was established in Cyprus in 2012, and it’s among the most popular low deposit Kenyan betting sites supporting both M-Pesa and PesaLink, as well as dozens of other payment methods.

For M-Pesa users, the minimum amount of cash you can deposit is just $1 while cashouts start as low as $1.50. One of the biggest advantages of this sports betting site is that withdrawals with M-Pesa are usually processed as quickly as 15 minutes; additionally, MelBet won’t charge you any extra fees for using this payment method.

When it comes to market variety, MelBet is debatably among the best international sports betting sites, offering over 40+ markets. Whether you’re into popular African sports like football, cycling, athletics, and wrestling or want to bet on more elusive markets like chess, Padel, or speedway racing, MelBet’s got your back.

New players can grab the 200% welcome bonus of up to $150; your bonus funds will become cashable once you’ve played through them 12x in accumulator bets.

I love the fact that this Kenyan sports betting site will give you a free bet after you’ve placed 100 bets. They don’t need to be consecutive or even of the same size; the only prerequisites are the 30-day deadline and that each of your bets must be placed on selections with odds of -333 or higher.

Overall, speedy M-Pesa payments with exceptionally low limits combined with good bonuses and exemplary market coverage make MelBet one of the top international betting sites supporting M-Pesa.

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🥈HelaBet

HelaBet Homepage

HelaBet is what I’d describe as a perfect M-Pesa e-sports betting site. It offers thousands of markets across all-popular categories like Street Fighter, Dota2, and PES, as well as a range of e-tennis, wrestling, golf, and other virtual sports.

Its main book, however, is considerably smaller and primarily focused on a handful of dominating sports like football, tennis, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, cricket, and table tennis.

Besides M-Pesa, HelaBet supports over 20+ payment methods, M-Pesa VIP Kenya, numerous e-wallets, and 10+ major cryptos like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Unfortunately, Kenyan players can only access 3 of them, including M-Pesa, M-Pesa VIP, and Airtel.

On the upside, you can cash in and out with a single $1 using the M-Pesa banking method, and you won’t need to pay any fees regardless of whether you’re depositing or withdrawing money. The former is instantaneous while the latter can take up to 15 minutes.

I’d also like to briefly mention the welcome bonus HelaBet offers to its new customers. It works with $1 and allows you to double your first deposit up to $70. Similar to MelBet, you’ll need to place accumulator bets (with odds of -250 or higher) to cash out, but the rollover requirement is just 5x.

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🥉BetAfriq

BetAfriq Homepage

BetAfriq stands out from other books I’ve covered as a BCLB-licensed sportsbook that supports M-Pesa payments. It is owned and operated by Pesa Bets LTD and is one of the most transparent international betting sites I’ve had the pleasure of testing.

Superb sports betting market coverage complete with innumerable pre-built parlays, props, and specials make it an excellent choice for fans of football betting sites, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and rugby, all of which are covered in both pre-match and live segments. BetAfriq’s odds are quite competitive too, especially for European major events like UEFA Champions League, Premier League, and La Liga.

Even though BetAfriq doesn’t have a fleshed-out welcome bonus, it allows its players to top up their online sports betting balance twice per day via reload promos. You’ll receive a 50% match on deposits between $1 and 7; a 30% match on deposits between $8 and $35, and a 10% match on deposits between $36 and $100. Best of all, your bonus funds will become cashable as soon as they’re played through only twice.

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🎖️BetLion

BetLion Homepage

BetLion is an international betting site owned by 888Africa, a reputable sportsbook & casino operator licensed in Kenya, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Compared to other betting sites that accept M-Pesa, BetLion has solid promotions and betting odds, but it doesn’t support too many payment methods.

At this betting site, you can wager on football, rugby, baseball, boxing, basketball, darts, handball, and a range of other sports events. It’s big on traditional markets and offers dozens of proposition bets, but it’s not my betting site of choice for esports wagering.

Similar to MelBet, HelaBet, and BetAfriq, BetLion works with $1 deposits; you can use M-PesaAirtel, or credit cards to make deposits or cash out without paying any fees.

BetLion has the upper hand over competing international betting sites that accept M-Pesa with a robust catalog of promotions. When you join, you’ll be able to get a 100% match on your first deposit of up to $40; this may not sound like much, but this betting site also regularly hosts daily jackpots, offers weekly cashback, and is famous for its Aviator Rain free bet bonuses.

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🏅OdiBets

OdiBets Homepage

OdiBets is one of my favorite mobile betting sites for several reasons. Not only does it support instant deposits and speedy payouts with M-Pesa but it also allows its customers to cash in and out via regular text messages.

Even though its market coverage is far from perfect, you can bet on soccer, basketball, tennis, hockey, rugby, baseball, boxing, and several other categories while at OdiBets.

Its promos might appear modest compared to MelBet and HelaBet, but there are more than a few to choose from.

Freshly registered players are eligible to receive a $1 free bet as soon as they sign up. Deposit money any day between 6 am and 2 pm to catch up on OdiBets’ revolving Happy Hour promos. Moreover, your first bet (up to $2) of the day will be backed by a 30% cashback.

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Why We Selected These International M-Pesa Betting Sites

So many betting sites in Kenya work with M-Pesa, but the availability of this payment method is only one of the many factors I followed while creating this shortlist.

I prioritized online betting sites that are licensed by reputable regulators like Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board. CGCB (Curaçao Gaming Control Board) was my second choice, although I should emphasize that their licensing requirements are all but strict.

I then looked for Kenyan betting sites that offer users more control over their payouts and deposits. Beyond M-Pesa and credit cards, I was mainly searching for sites that support other online payment methods and even cryptocurrencies.

A sportsbook is as good as its market coverage. Knowing that Kenyan bettors love football, rugby, basketball, cricket, and athletics, sites that extensively cover these fields with good odds were the focal point of my research and testing.

Since M-Pesa is a mobile payment service, I was particularly interested in sports betting sites that had a mobile app, or at least a mobile-optimized website.

Finally, I wanted to ensure players following my recommendations have access to generous sportsbook bonuses. Even though some of these books don’t have a concrete welcome bonus, they make up for it with lofty reload bonuses and various other regular promotions.

How to Deposit with M-Pesa at Online Betting Sites

M-Pesa Deposit

You’ll need to set up an M-Pesa account before you can use it to make deposits at betting sites in Kenya. You only need to bring a valid Safaricom SIM card and your ID documents to your local M-Pesa outlet (or Safaricom center) and ask to register. Their agents will guide you through the online betting account registration, after which you’ll have to follow these steps on your phone:

  1. Launch the M-Pesa menu and tap “Activate”
  2. Input the M-Pesa PIN activation code sent to you by M-Pesa/Safaricom agents
  3. Create a unique PIN for your M-Pesa app; repeat it and tap “Confirm”
  4. Enter the identification number that you used to register for M-Pesa
  5. Download the M-Pesa app from Google Play or Apple App Store

You’ll need to have enough cash in your M-Pesa balance to make a deposit to your chosen betting site. This can be done by wiring cash from your online bank account to M-Pesa, or by going to your local M-Pesa/Safaricom center and making a physical deposit.

To make a deposit via the M-Pesa SIM toolkit, tap “M-Pesa” in the STK, select “Send Money”, enter the phone (paybill) number of the betting sites, input the desired amount, and enter your M-Pesa PIN code. The process is almost identical when done via the M-Pesa mobile app, with the only difference being that you can choose biometric authentication instead of using the M-Pesa PIN.

M-Pesa Minimum and Maximum Deposit Limits

Nearly all sportsbooks that work with M-Pesa support deposits and withdrawals as low as $1 – usually even less than that. If you’re depositing or cashing out as little as $0.69, you won’t have to pay any transaction fees.

As for the upper limits, they usually coincide with the maximum thresholds imposed by M-Pesa – the largest amount of cash you can deposit or withdraw is $1,730. I should also mention that such transactions are followed by a remarkably humble fee of $0.75.

How to Withdraw From M-Pesa Betting Sites

Cashing out at M-Pesa betting sites is as simple as cashing in, but the process might be slightly different depending on your chosen sportsbook.

In all cases, you’ll need to go to the money management segment (Cashier, My Account, or Wallet), and select “Withdraw”. Then you will need to choose M-Pesa as your preferred withdrawal method, input your M-Pesa number, and select how much money you want to cash out.

I should emphasize that two conditions must be met before you can submit a M-Pesa withdrawal request:

In terms of the latter, each sports betting site has different rules. You will usually need to wager your bonus funds a specific number of times and pay attention to which bets are eligible (e.g. singles, accumulator). Finally, make sure that you’ve satisfied these conditions within the prescribed deadlines.

Withdrawal Processing Times

Since M-Pesa is a branchless mobile payment service, you’ll rarely have to wait long before your cash reflects on your M-Pesa balance. The payout speed may vary from site to site, but it is also influenced by your physical location.

In the worst-case scenario, you will receive your payout within 24 hours. However, most betting sites in Kenya boast M-Pesa processing speeds of 15-30 minutes.

Fees and Charges when Betting with M-Pesa

M-Pesa Fees

While most M-Pesa betting sites won’t charge any fees internally, M-Pesa as a service charges fees on all transactions based on how much money is involved.

The lowest fee you can expect amounts to a fraction of a dollar ($0.048, to be precise, on transactions from $0.6 to $3.5) while the “highest” fee is still under $1 (on transactions up to $1,730).

In other words, neither a ton of microtransactions nor a handful of huge payments should hurt your M-Pesa balance much.

Tips for Managing Your Bankroll at International M-Pesa Betting Sites

Pros and Cons of Using M-Pesa at International Bookies

✅Pros❌Cons
Instant deposits and rapid payoutsFees apply to most transactions
Widely available across Kenyan betting sitesVery low upper transaction limits
Most sportsbooks accept deposits and withdrawals of just $1Users must have a Safaricom SIM to register an M-Pesa account
Multi-factor authentication and confirmation security
Mobile convenience

Alternatives for Betting at International Sportsbooks

M-Pesa betting sites are excellent for players on a budget and are unbeatable in the field of instant payouts. However, there aren’t many international betting sites that accept M-Pesa, and this payment option doesn’t come without drawbacks.

Below are some of my favorite alternatives to M-Pesa betting. Feel free to check them out if your sportsbook doesn’t support this mobile payment option or you don’t want to use M-Pesa for betting.

FAQs

  • Can I Use M-Pesa to fund my betting account?
    M-Pesa is a mobile payment service that can be used to make deposits and receive payments from betting sites that support this method.
  • Which M-Pesa betting sites are legit in Kenya?
    MelBet, HelaBet, BetAfriq, BetLion, and OdiBets are perfectly legitimate and reliable betting sites that accept Kenyan players and support M-Pesa payments.
  • Where is M-Pesa betting available?
    M-Pesa is accessible to sports bettors in Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Egypt, and Ghana.
  • What is the minimum deposit limit in M-Pesa sportsbooks?
    The minimum amount of money registered users of M-Pesa betting sites can deposit is $1.
  • Which institution is the gambling authority in Kenya?

    The Betting Control and Licensing Board or BCLB is the official Kenyan gambling authority established by the Act of Parliament in 1966.

AUTHOR
Damjan Jugovic Spajic

A soccer and eSports fan who always roots for the worst possible teams, Damjan is a resident writer and contributor at Minimum Deposit Betting Sites. With over 5 years of experience in the online casino and sports betting industry, he largely focuses on writing reviews and testing out bookmaker transaction processes.