The Meteoric Rise of Sports Betting in Africa
Sports betting is experiencing an explosive growth across the world, and Africa is one of the regions where the upswing in online betting is felt the most. Analysts believe that by 2024, as much as half of all bets placed on the continent will be initiated by smartphones.
Sports betting was always popular in Africa, but thanks to easier access to the internet through mobile devices, mobile betting has become the hottest pastime among gambling fans. It is much simpler to download a betting app than physically making your way to a betting shop. It is also easier – and safer – to use a mobile wallet that you can top up from your bank account than carrying around cash.
Sports plays an iconic part in our African lifestyle, and betting on football teams – from grassroots local teams to the most popular international events – is part and parcel of the experience. Mobile betting has enabled practically anyone with a mobile phone to bet on their favorite teams and bring a whole new dimension (and reward potential) to their football fun.
Countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria have had to adapt their gambling legislation according to the growth of the market. The markets in these countries are regulated, if not perfect. On the other extreme, there are African countries where online sports betting is banned outright.
Analysts have shown that countries that don’t regulate their sports betting markets or ban the pastime altogether are opening up their players to the dangers of unlicensed offshore operators. These countries are also missing out on important tax revenues that licensed operators in their territories could be paying in license fees and revenue percentages.
Africa is considered a largely untapped market in the online betting sphere, but as more countries see the benefits of regulation, more and more operators will want to jump in to grab a slice of the proverbial cake. South Africa has some tough competition among its operators, but it is still believed that there is place for more.