In recent years, Africa has been a prime target for gambling investors. Being the second-largest continent means Africa is at a pole position of becoming one of the generators of gambling revenue. Moreover, with a population of at least 1.3 billion, Africa has become a preferred destination for eGaming companies that are fast-tracking their expansion strategies around the world. While religious laws have impeded the implementation of online gambling laws in northern parts of the continent, most gamblers can still access offshore gambling sites. In this post, dive into Africa’s vast gambling landscape and discover interesting facts that define the online gambling industry in the continent.
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Exploring Interesting Facts about Africa’s Online Gambling Industry
Reviewing online gambling in every African country would be time-consuming because of the large size of the continent. However, studies have established that most gamblers in the continent are youths.
Here is a lowdown on more facts about online gambling in the continent.
Mobile Money Is Fueling Online Gambling in Africa
Mobile payments have steadily become indispensable in some parts of Africa. They are especially useful to the unbanked populations of the continent. And given that most banks in Africa do not accept gambling transactions, mobile money transfers provide much-need leeway for online gamblers. For example, MPESA, a popular mobile money wallet in East Africa, has revolutionized gambling transactions in Kenya. MPESA is also available in Tanzania and Uganda. In West African countries such as Ghana and Nigeria, where online gambling is fast gaining grip, MTN, Airtel Tigo, and Vodafone money are popular payment gateways for online gamblers.
Mobile Gambling Is Sweeping Across the African Continent
Smartphones have become the mainstay of internet gambling. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a ballooning population of young people forms a larger percentage of gamblers who use smartphones. A Geopoll survey in 2017 found out that at least 54% of youths in East and Central Africa are using smartphones to place bets on gambling sites. Kenya, which recently staged an onslaught against illegal gambling companies, leads in online gambling activities. The high unemployment rate, social media, and increased connectivity to the web and affordable smartphones fuel online gambling in Africa. Also, find out why Nigeria’s external reserve has plummeted in recent months, behind Ghana, South Africa, and other countries.
Algeria Is the Worst Hit by Anti-Gambling Laws
Despite being the largest country in Africa, Algeria is the least favorable destination for gamblers in Africa. Gambling activities, which include internet casinos, are outlawed in Algeria. Moreover, save for the Pari Sportif Algerien (PSA), which runs the national lottery in Algeria having met all Sharia law requirements, there is currently no legal process in the country that seeks to license online gambling. VPN use is also legally barred in Algeria until such a time when the government will review internet censorship laws.
South Africa Leads in Gambling Activities
South Africa is known for huge lotto payouts, which is the only form of legal internet gambling. Interestingly, the country leads in Africa as the most gambling destination. While the gambling Act of 2004 bars interactive gaming in South Africa, including server-based casino gaming, there is no law prohibiting offshore gambling companies from operating in the country. Thus, lots of offshore internet casinos are accessible within South Africa.
Economic experts project gambling revenue of $2.5 billion in 2021 for South Africa. Given that the country has the second-highest GDP in Africa, gamblers in South Africa contribute massively to the Gross Domestic Product, which is now more than $350 billion. After South Africa, countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Congo, and Tanzania have also registered an increase in gambling activities. Kenya and Uganda have especially sanitized their gambling industry in recent months by revoking companies’ licenses involved in money laundering.
Kenya Leads in Interactive Gaming
As online gambling gains momentum in Africa, its success depends on the reformation of gambling laws. Interestingly, Kenya leads in online gambling. Hundreds of homebred casino websites have sprouted in recent years. In the process, millions of Kenyans now play casino games online. It is a move away from the popular national lottery, SMS lotto games, and brick-and-mortar casinos that dominated the sector for many years. Gambling laws have played significance in opening up online casino gambling in Kenya.
Africa’s place in online gambling keeps growing bigger. The rising population, widespread use of smartphones, installation of high-speed internet connectivity, and enactment of interactive gambling laws are some factors fueling eGaming in Africa. Before long, countries such as South Africa will join the interactive gaming wave. It is a matter of when South Africa’s president will assent to the Gambling Act of 2008 through a presidential proclamation.