Gambling has always been very popular in Africa, but it is now becoming one of the most lucrative markets worldwide. More and more people on the continent have been making their bets online in recent years.
This is partly because it is much easier to access casinos and sports betting by the internet – both on desktop PCs but also smartphones. The latter themselves are widely available for cheap.
Accessing mobile apps via WiFi is a lot less time-consuming than a land-based casino for the locals, which requires travelling into town.
There has been a lot of changes made in recent years, and here are a few that have helped create this surge:
Internet Gambling Laws
Many African countries are now changing their gambling laws. This applies to both internet and land-based casinos. This has assisted the industry in growing and means that people have more options when it comes to their gambling compared to years previously.
There are no laws to prevent sign-up bonuses to help attract new players, such as free bets and bingo offers. Whilst sports betting is hugely popular, bingo and slot machines are also played throughout the continent.
The Casino Industry is Growing Fast
Sports betting has been growing quickly throughout Africa. The betting market in countries such as Kenya and Uganda in particular are able to bring in millions of pounds every single year.
A lot of this comes down to the laws that have been changed. Another reason is because of the passion people have for gambling on the continent.
Whilst land-based casinos remain popular for the time being, it is clear that online casinos are quickly becoming the preferred method. This is following the rest of the world, where gambling is preferred online compared to traditional brick and mortar shops in Europe and North America.
Mobile gaming generated close to half of the industry’s revenue last year. There are more than 226 million African citizens below the age of 35 which attract a huge market for smartphones. Many of these are interested in online gaming. Desktop and laptop gaming is just as popular but you can expect mobile gaming to take the lead in the very near future, just as is the case in the rest of the world.
In recent years there have been many online casino providers popping up in Africa, with the likes of Play Ojo and Sport Pesa not only expanding from Nigeria and Tanzania across the continent, but also into Europe and America.
As with European and American online gambling vendors benefiting from mobile betting, the African market is starting to see this too. Mobile payments are easier than ever before.
Regulations are also very sparse. When we looked at Kenya and Uganda in particular, we found out that they have taken as many steps as they can to try and regulate the industry while also keeping the people who love to gamble safe, but other countries are yet to follow in their footsteps.
If the gambling industry continues to grow in popularity, then this would surely lead to some changes being made.
A couple of countries have emerged on the continent as being gambling hotspots. The main ones include Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda. The market in South Africa alone is worth more than £2 billion. They are very well-known for their gambling markets and they are even competing with countries in Europe and North America too.
Lawmakers in the aforementioned countries are trying to implement new and interesting regulations to stop online gambling spiralling out of control.
Recently, Uganda announced they were working very hard to try and push any foreign operators out. Kenya introduced a bill to ban any kind of gaming advertisements themselves.
Gaming companies are no longer able to promote their services on TV between the hours of 6am and 10pm and cannot use celebrities from endorsing any kind of gambling too.
Whilst this may have slowed the growth it has certainly not stopped online gambling from growing within the continent. Fans regular place in-play bets whilst watching live Premier League games on the television.
Online Gaming is experiencing a boom worldwide and the growth in Africa is no different. Mobile gaming’s growth helped by high-speed internet and a heightened 3G/4G coverage contributes to the market’s continued progress.
Today, around 41% of Africans have access to the internet, and an improved connection will only help them access online gaming clubs from their mobile devices. Currently online gaming has the potential to introduce and promote sportsbooks, casinos, poker, bingo and slots. There is great opportunity to tap the retail market whilst engaging its users into a new channel.
Expect a lot of gaming operators to focus on trying to offer their services throughout Africa. Countries such as Uganda are trying nationalise their gambling market for example.
The main issue is that regulations will limit the number of legal operations that are available in the continent. Some of the top online casinos are available throughout the continent. A lot of the European gambling industries are focused on trying to make sure that the correct regulations are in place. They also want to try make sure that the right gaming options are available to consumers as well.
Most African countries have laws and commissions regulating the gaming activity. South Africa was one of the first to create gaming regulations on the continent. And whilst some nations restrict or ban online gaming, online casinos are quite popular, leading to gamers playing at offshore companies.
In the countries to prohibit gambling, land-based casinos are popular. This may lead to the opening of the online market, sparking interest to online gambling, which is ideal for players looking for convenience at home.
Only time will tell what the future holds for the online gambling market but right now it looks like things are moving in the right direction and this could mean great things.