There is every indication that Africa will be the next big thing in the online gambling business industry. Betting activities have always existed in various countries but a greater percentage of people continue to bet in online casinos.
The most common reason for the shift from land-based to online gambling is the convenience where bettors can place multiple bets from the comfort of their homes.
Today, many gambling operators are flocking the African market to take advantage of this growth potential.
Reasons for the rise in the online gambling industry in Africa
The rapid expansion of the online gambling industry in Africa is attributed to several factors which include:
Internet gambling laws
Initially, many African countries had imposed stringent and non-progressive laws regarding online gambling. Some laws border on taxation and licensing, hence they scared away foreign-based companies. Currently, many countries such as Ghana has lifted oppressive regulations to allow more operators to venture on the continent. This has proved to be a game-changer as it has provided more options for gamblers.
Government support for the betting industry
African governments have discovered that the betting business is viable and can generate a lot of revenue. This has led to the decision to fund the business by establishing casinos and creating policies that encourage investors to come to Africa. Some of African countries that have seen a boom in industry include Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya. In Kenya for instance, the betting business generates millions of dollars, boosting the country’s GDP. Land-based casinos are found in major towns, serving both local and foreign players. The expansion of the gambling industry has led to the introduction of online casinos in Kenya which have full support from the government.
Africa has a huge population that can access smartphone technology. This implies that many gamblers can make payments and access online gambling websites through these devices. The gambling passion on the continent has grown a thousandfold because of the mobile phone. In the past, gamblers were required to make deposits through the banks, yet there are many restrictions especially if the deposits are meant for gambling. Mobile money is more convenient and players can make deposits from any location.
Today, online betting is popular because of fiber optic internet connections. Many urban areas are linked to fast internet which enables access to betting websites. A significant percentage of African households have access to the internet. Many of the mobile network providers also offer internet through mobile phones. Players buy data and used it to access betting websites and apps.
Challenges affecting the rise of online betting
Despite the numerous factors in favor of the rise in the online gambling business industry, Africa still faces many challenges in that regard. Some of them have been listed below:
The Northern part of Africa has many Muslim countries like Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco. Despite being sporting nations, the Muslim doctrines do not allow gambling, hence few people participate in the activity. This has hindered the expansion of the industry.
The poverty levels in Africa are alarming because of weak economic policies in many countries. A poor population has different priorities from betting. The little income they get is channeled to basic activities like health, food, and education. There has also been issues related to problem gambling among the youths which has accelerated poverty levels in the continent.
Online gambling is projected to grow due to the high number of youths who are unemployed in Africa. Betting is the only way they can make an income for their families. Smartphone penetration is also projected to expand further as more households continue to be connected with the internet. The ultimate support which has come from many governments will propel the industry to new heights. The few challenges affecting online gambling are not so pronounced hence the growth trajectory will still be witnessed in the near future.