The gambling sector in East Africa is in a “total mess” following the collapse of global sport in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Betting markets have dramatically shrunk in light of the suspension of the world’s leading football leagues, which has left little for people to gamble on. But in east Africa, the market has been particularly hard-hit because few in the region bet online. Many betting shops in the region were closed earlier this month because of the coronavirus outbreak, which is increasing across the region. As a result, an industry whose annual turnover is worth at least $20m in Kenya, $12m in Uganda and approaching $10m in Tanzania has been decimated. Meanwhile, some gamblers see the enforced break not so much as an opportunity missed to make money but a chance to save some. “It has helped me save a bit more because the money you’d have lost remains with you,” said Meshack, a cyber cafe owner based in western Kenya.