Gambling is a multi-million dollar business in Kenya, but there are more losers than winners - with an increasing number of young people
chancing their luck, writes Anthony Wanjiru .
The punters continue to loudly place their wagers in the betting store, which is one of the many that dot Kenya's capital.
This is where I meet Ken Karanja, 29, who best embodies the gambling culture beguiling many young people in the city.
He lives in Rwaka, a cosmopolitan area about 15km (nine miles) north-west of Nairobi, and makes 3,000 Kenyan shillings (£22; £30) a day as a truck driver - money which he often gambles away.
"I am a betting addict. I bet 100 Kenyan shillings a day and 1,000 to 1,500 Kenyan shillings during weekends," he says.
He used to frequent what were known as gambling dens, which were unregulated and where children could also place bets.
In the last four years, these have closed down, to be replaced by online gambling services - with people using their mobile phones, cyber cafes or one of the chains of new betting shops to place bets online on anything from the local league to World Cup matches.
This move has made it easier for people to place bets.
Kenya has the highest number of young people in sub-Saharan Africa - between the ages of 17-35 - who gamble frequently, a 2017 GeoPoll survey found.
Another study from 2016 estimated that 78% of university students were problem gamblers.
The country is the third-largest gambling market in Africa, after Nigeria and South Africa.
Figures from the gambling regulator, the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), show that gross gambling revenue for the 2016/2017 financial year was $198m (£151m) - equivalent to about half of the annual health budget.
However, the allure of instant money has come at a cost.
In 2016, a university student hanged himself after losing about $790 on a bet. Since then, more than five suicides and cases of bankruptcy, domestic violence and evictions have been reported.
To deter Kenyans from becoming problem gamblers, the government has introduced some taxes - the first, which came into
Nelson Gaichuhie, a senior official at Kenya's Treasury, says a second tax, to be introduced soon, will target gamblers themselves - taxing winnings.
"The government is worried about rampant betting, that is why we are still putting measures in place like taxing winnings at 20%," he says.
"We hope this will lower the appetite for betting."
The 35% tax led SportPesa to cancel all its local sports sponsorship deals in 2017 after the popular sports betting firm said the increase would negatively affect its business operations.
It has since signed new partnership agreements with Kenyan football leagues.
When asked whether the ease of online betting was proving too much of a temptation for young people, SportPesa's communications officer, Lola Okulo, said:
"We encourage our customers to approach gaming as an entertainment activity, not as an investment or job.
"They must be open to the possibility of winning or losing."
For some, the government's measures are not going far enough.
"We want to push
These sentiments are echoed by former MP Jakoyo Midiwo, who pushed for betting regulations before losing his seat in 2017.
He likened gambling to a "disease" in the East African country where many people use their phones as their wallets - transferring funds quickly via a text message without having to have a bank account.
"There is no online gambling in the US, you go to casinos. The problem is bigger in Kenya because of mobile money.
"As it is, your two-year-old child can bet [if they get hold of someone's phone]."
Academic Robert Nyamori argues that more long-lasting "preventative and curative" solutions are needed.
"Gambling machines are everywhere. Betting is
'I want to stop gambling'
Former gambling addict and farmer George Wainaina
"Betting is a problem that needs to be tackled
He wants to force betting establishments out of city
"The government should also ban advertising. These moves will see
"I'd like to stop betting but lack funds to seek help," the truck driver says.
"The government should set up free
"Parents should also monitor their children to ensure that they aren't sucked into the vice."