Betting in Africa is an age-long practice and has become much broader and bigger in recent times. It has evolved beyond horse and card betting to bigger practices such as sports betting, casinos, and online betting.
The statistical figures that represent the global online and land betting market size estimate it to be worth as much as $443 billion in 2020 and is predicted to be worth as much as $647 billion by 2027 with a steady growth rate of 5.6% per year.
The betting market in Africa is still one of the smallest contributors to the global betting market, after Europe, America, and Asia, but is also one with great growth potential. The market has shown steady growth such that experts predict that it could change the entire economy of the continent.
The land-based betting market is still the largest in Africa but the online betting market in Africa is predicted to grow to as much as four times its current size in a few years to come.
The South African betting market is the biggest in Africa so far with an estimated revenue of about $2.1 billion dollars in 2019.
There are several forms of betting and gambling in South Africa and the most popular is Casino gaming of which there are 39 land-based casinos in the country. Other forms of gambling include lotteries and slot machines, horse racing betting, and a few others.
The South African betting market also has an online betting niche which is tolerated by the gambling and racing board as it is still illegal. Online betting sites can be used in the country but betting operators and companies need to apply for local licenses to operate and a percentage of the winnings is usually deducted for VAT and tax.
The National Gambling Act of 2004 is the regulatory law used in governing all parts and forms of betting in the country including issuing licenses to bookies, tax and VAT charges as well as penalties for defaulters of the law. The 2004 Act was amended in 2008 to make room for new regulations and to legalize interactive gambling although it has not come into play due to resistance from anti-money laundering authorities.
The Nigerian betting market is the second biggest market in Africa and is governed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission which regulates lotteries, casinos, and sports betting in the country.
The commission also regulates online betting and is in charge of issuing licenses to bookies. The Nigerian betting laws have no restrictions for reaching local and foreign betting websites for online gambling but the betting companies are obligated to follow the regulations laid down for land-based betting companies.
Owing to the large population and greater economic power of Nigeria, it is predicted that it would soon overtake South Africa to be the African country with the biggest betting market.
Betting In Africa (Kenya)
The betting market in Kenya sits currently at the third-largest in Africa after South Africa and Kenya. In 2019 the Kenyan betting market was estimated to be worth about $40 million dollars and is still growing steadily.
Kenya has the highest number of young people gambling and the average Kenyan youth spends more on gambling than any youth from another African country. Sports Betting is the largest betting market in Kenya followed by other betting forms like online poker, casinos although not as popular as sports betting.
There are about 30 land-based gaming establishments within the country, 21 of which are in Nairobi.
Betting is regulated and controlled by the Betting Control and Licensing Board but the laws and regulations are majorly focused on land-based betting companies, and this has opened the way for international and foreign betting companies’ websites.
Betting In Tanzania
The betting industry in Tanzania is a rapidly growing one and is now at a point where betting is the only income for some citizens ever since legal betting stations were established around the country.
The sports betting market is currently the biggest betting market in the Tanzanian betting industry and has grown beyond the casino market and the gaming market.
The Gaming Board of Tanzania is the regulatory board in charge of imposing taxes, levies and issuing licenses to bookies and betting companies. The Tanzanian Sports Betting Association also plays a role in ensuring adherence to laid down laws and regulations.
Several other African countries like Morocco, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, and Botswana also make high revenues from betting activities within the country and are gradually reaching the point of making significant contributions to the gaming revenue of Africa.
Investing In The African Betting Industry
Although the betting industry in Africa is still one of the smallest, it has also shown a tremendous boom in recent years and has caught the attention of investors across the world.
Several factors have contributed to the boom in the betting industry market in Africa and make investing in it worthwhile. Some of these factors are:
- Legalization of Gambling
Although gambling has been in existence for centuries, legalization in parts of Africa has only been a recent event, and not all countries have legalized it.
Because African countries have been slowest on the uptake of legalizing betting within the countries, the end result is that they don’t have as stringent gambling laws as American and European countries.
These lenient gambling laws provide various opportunities that local and foreign investors can take advantage of not only to their benefit but also to that of the country in the long run.
- Increase in Number of Betting Companies
African countries have seen a large increase in the number of land-based and online betting companies ever since the legalization in different countries.
The large increase in the number of betting companies has also pushed the companies into a competition to outdo themselves in a bid to get more customers. Several marketing strategies have been rolled out with incentives and bonuses in a bid to get and keep customers.
The result of these marketing campaigns and strategies is that both the betting companies and bettors enjoy large patronage and enticing betting deals respectively.
- Introduction of Online Betting and Mobile Banking
The introduction of online gambling in the world of betting has seriously affected and changed the betting scene not only in Africa but across the world. The easy access that comes with using a betting app or website has increased the number of people engaged in betting tremendously because anyone from anywhere with a functioning smartphone and access to the internet can place wagers on sports, races, and other forms of betting.
The introduction of mobile and online methods of transactions has also changed the gameplay not only for the betting industry in Africa but also for several other industries across the world.
Online transactions have made betting in Africa much easier as funds can now be transferred from one part of the world to another within hours or days of initiating the transaction. This has made it easier for more Africans to engage in online gambling not only with local betting companies but also with international and foreign companies.
Mobile and online banking options have also made it possible and easier for Africans in parts of the world where betting has not been legalized to engage and place their wagers online using foreign betting websites.
Also, betting companies have been able to form alliances with Fintech companies and banks in a way that offers more visibility and profit for all involved.
- High Unemployment Rate
Statistics from most African countries show that a large and alarming number of their population is unemployed. These figures also show that this unemployed population are majorly young teenagers and youths of ages 15-40.
This affected populace of young people has, as a second option, turned to bet in its various forms as a means of survival and a ticket to making money. As a result, a large number of young people are very engaged in betting in Africa.
Owing to the factors mentioned, investing in the betting industry of Africa, whether by interested local parties or foreign parties, is a decision that should be considered and carefully executed.
In execution, the best thing the any interested party can do is to hire reputable and competent help which is Shikana Law Group.
One might think that investing in the betting industry in Africa will be very straightforward and easy due to the lenient laws they have but this is not the case. It is necessary to seek expert help in navigating all the contributing factors before and during the investment process so that costly mistakes are not made.
Shikana Law Group is an investment firm located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and is fitted with highly experienced and competent professionals whose work is to see to your business and investment needs. Their job is to make the investment process a smooth one and ensure you get the best end of any deal and they do this very seriously. They are also a versatile firm that covers other industries from the mining industry to the real estate industry.