Nigeria among the strongest gambling markets in 2022
The year 2022 is coming to a close. While many markets struggled throughout the past few years, one made substantial shifts and turnarounds and has headed in a better direction – the African gambling market.
Gambling in Africa
After a long period of stagnation due to the pandemic, significant losses, and numerous downsizes that brick-and-mortar casinos suffered, the gambling market on the continent finally found a solution – going online.
Recently, Africa became an attractive spot for iGaming investors, especially due to the pitch in mobile usage and greater internet coverage. Today, you will find 5G networks operating in many African countries, and interest in smartphone devices has gained incredible speed.
Last but not least, the continent’s position largely improved due to the interest of local authorities in creating a legal landscape for operators and players in the region. For example, in 2022, the South African authorities have been shifting towards introducing a law that will legalize all online gambling activities, both for providers and players. This will have a positive impact not only on the South African economy but the economy of the whole continent.
Although the gambling market is developing fastly across the continent, there are areas that have been particularly standing out throughout 2022 and Nigeria is among the top three leaders. Let’s dive in.
The traditional gambling market in South Africa has still been recovering from the lockdown effects. Many brick-and-mortar casinos were either faced with big losses or struggled to provide even enough revenue for survival. A sound example was when two of Sun International’s iconic casinos Naledi and Carousel locked their doors permanently due to horrendous income declines.
On the other hand, this was the period when the online gambling market thrived. Online betting witnessed a sudden boom, and online casinos started joining the ride. Trustworthy operators like Springbok casino online gained popularity on the market, offering their players gambling in local currency, as well as many other great benefits like a plethora of cost-effective bonuses that users can take advantage of.
Seeing the potential for greater state revenues on the one hand, and illegal online gambling being hard to track and regulate on the other, SA authorities decided to shift the gambling landscape to a more legal environment.
When it comes to Africa, Kenya is the gambler’s heaven. All gambling operations are fully legal both in their offline and online version. Meaning, once you get there, you can freely choose how you want to wager.
The market is dominated by sports betting, just like in almost every other country on the continent and football is taking a central place in this area. Besides sports, players also indulge in online casino games like poker, slots, blackjack, or roulette. And with a high pitch in mobile penetration growth and internet coverage in Africa, Kenyan players really love to take advantage of online gambling games.
So far everything seems perfect, right? However… In 2019, the local government announced an additional 20% tax on gambling stakes, which scared away some of the biggest names in the industry. Also, this move, together with the effects of the pandemic, knocked down gross gaming revenue in the country from $300 million to $175 million in just two years. Still, despite the issues, Kenya remains one of the leading markets on the continent.
Being the most populated African country with over 200 million people and a leading economy on the continent, Nigeria comes with great potential in the casino industry. And even though gambling on the web is still not legally regulated, it attracts a greater interest for investors.
The legal forms of gambling in Nigeria are land-based casinos, sports betting (online and offline), and lottery. All other non-skilled games of chance, besides slots, are considered illegal. Gambling online on foreign websites and out-of-state casinos is, however, not prohibited by law.
But besides partly still being in the gray area when it comes to different forms of gambling, Nigeria is the second-largest gambling market in Africa – in both offline and online forms. And it accounts for 7% of the total gross gaming revenue on the continent.
A bright future lies ahead of the African gambling market. Growth in internet coverage, mobile penetration, and greater flexibility towards the legalization of online casinos and gambling games will drive more investments in the market, as well as greater financial flow. This can, later on, lift the entire African economy and stimulate growth in state revenues.