The iGaming Industry in the spotlight in Africa
As the world’s youngest continent, with almost 60% of the population under the age of 25, Africa is often seen as a potentially huge market for iGaming. But, what is the current situation when it comes to online gambling in Africa, and which countries are leading the way? Keep on reading to find out more.
The situation with the global online gambling market
For those unfamiliar with the term, iGaming covers all forms of online gambling, including online casinos, poker rooms, sports betting, e-sports betting, and fantasy sports as well as binary trading and cryptocurrencies.
While many industries have suffered in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the online gambling industry has been thriving. As people have been confined to their homes for the past year, the popularity of these games has been skyrocketing. What is more, by 2027, this sector is expected to be worth over 127 billion U.S. dollars and have a CAGR of 11.5% from 2020 to 2027.
With an increase in the use of smartphones that make accessing online gaming platforms easy and growing internet penetration, it’s only normal that the iGaming industry is on the rise as well. All that players have to do in order to have fun and participate in this trend is sign up for some of the best online casinos that are available. With such a wide array of reputable names, finding the right game is not difficult at all.
The current state of gambling in Africa
The second-largest continent is in no way lacking when it comes to the online gambling industry. As the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 26 million in 2023 and the internet infrastructure is constantly being improved, it’s easy for African nations to access online gaming platforms.
However, despite this accessibility, there are some obstacles that players might be facing. For instance, many regions don’t have clear gambling laws, which is preventing online gambling from flourishing in Africa. Moreover, some laws are simply outdated and don’t include online gambling. Lastly, in many countries, citizens and companies simply do not obey the laws that are in place.
Despite that, African countries mostly support gambling, aside from a few that are resisting this practice due to cultural or religious beliefs. The most successful markets are certainly South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria as well as Ghana and Tanzania. This is not surprising when we look at the fact that almost half of the adult population bet on sports on a regular basis. In Kenya, gambling is allowed but online casinos are still not as accessible due to weak internet connections. As the most populous African country, it’s only normal that Nigeria has a large gambling sector. Once the government lifted the ban on gambling in 2004, the citizens welcomed this practice with open arms. Researchers estimate that Nigerians bet around two billion dollars a year.
What does the future hold?
In addition to the above-listed countries, Africa is full of potential for iGaming providers. The lack of regulations in the field mostly means that foreign operators can offer their services. However, this can all change if certain countries decide to adopt laws that would further regulate who is allowed to operate and play in an online casino.
What games are most played?
While the online gambling industry is full of opportunities, it seems that most countries prefer sports betting. In Nigeria where online gambling is regulated, online sports betting accounts for the majority of its GGR. And when it comes to most favorite sports and leagues to bet on, European football leagues are especially popular.
Then, around 24% of the industry revenue in South Africa comes from betting on sports. However, this is due to a ban on online casino gaming, which is often debated. Horse racing, football, cricket, and rugby are among the most popular sports to bet on.
What is going on with the land-based casino industry?
Finally, we should talk about the land-based casino industry as well. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has suffered a huge blow as players were not allowed to visit and spend money on games. Many brick-and-mortar casinos had to lay off their staff or partner up with other businesses in order to survive. However, once the world has recovered from the pandemic, there is no reason to believe that land-based casinos will not thrive once more.
Africa is always developing, whether in terms of internet penetration or smartphone users, and with some countries not regulating, and some fully accepting online casinos, iGaming has all the right conditions for thriving.
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