Africa is a continent with an estimated population of 1.3 billion which is around 16.8% of the global population. Interestingly, within this population, a whopping 60% is approximated to be youths and this implies that this continent is a major prospective market for gaming and gambling. According to a KPMG publication, Bet9ja, one of Nigeria's major indigenous bookmakers rakes in an average monthly turnover of $10m. The good news is that based on increasing access to smartphones and telecommunication network services, a significant growth projection is feasible beginning from 2021. With the growth of the telecommunication sector, passion for sporting events, activities, and increasing gaming acceptance in Nigeria. Strategies aimed at facilitating the penetration of the African continent should naturally start from Nigeria as it is Africa's most populous nation and biggest black nation in the world.
Rise of Sports betting and AfricaSports betting has made a significant incursion into Africa within the last decade. As a sports-loving continent with a passion for sporting activities, it is not hard to see why betting sites offering sports betting services have been on the increase. In 2018, the sports betting market accounted for nearly $40 billion combined in the three major sport betting markets Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. Billions of naira is expended on betting on a monthly basis in Nigeria. According to the findings of a private organization, in Nigeria alone, an estimated 60 million people within an average age of 18 to 40 years expend about $15 daily on sports betting. Based on these stunning figures, the onus is on the government to regulate the sector to block leakages and ensure a proper tax regime that can help to boost revenue. The activities of these companies have also been beneficial to the economy as they have provided jobs for youths thereby helping the government to mitigate the rate of unemployment in the continent. Closely linked to the growth of sports betting and gambling is the rise of casinos. Africa-casinos.com though are not as vibrant as those operating outside of Africa, the continent could well sooner or later adopt a preference for casinos as seen in South Africa. Although, even as sports betting continues to rise in profile then casinos in the continent are likely to enjoy a growth spurt.
Factors that will contribute to the Spread of Gambling and Gaming
1. Sports Loving PopulationSporting activities especially football enjoy a huge following in the continent of Africa with many of the youths being followers of major European clubs sides. It is not uncommon to find viewing centers located in different areas where football fans can converge to watch their favorite team's matches. Hence it is hugely a norm to find fans hoping to cash-in on their knowledge of the sport by gambling on weekly games. These viewing centers have a similitude of a social gathering as it can be fun with fans of different teams exchanging banters with one another. Since betting offers a chance to predict and win football matches, then it is not surprising while betting especially has generated a lot of patronage among the citizens of the continent.
2. Youthful populationGaming and gambling are simply activities that are most prevalent among the youth. With an estimated 60% youthful population the affinity for these activities will potentially be on the rise for years to come. Many are turning to sports betting as a veritable means of generating income even as the government has failed in providing employment for the teeming unemployed youths or to provide a viable environment for business to thrive. This has resulted in many turning to gambling as a way out of the harsh realities of the continent. Gaming is another venture with huge prospects in Africa. There are gaming centers where gamers can go and compete with each other after paying a participation fee to the shop operator who will then allow the gamer to play in single-player mode or in double-player mode against another player. In this kind of setting, it is not uncommon to find the gamers challenging one another and staking an amount for the winner to take.
Africa is said to be the world's youngest continent hence it is a viable continent for gaming investment for global companies seeking to expand their business. The opportunities are there to be tapped and with the right strategy, the incredible potentials bound within the continent can be maximized. However, it is important that investors lobby government officials to ensure that government policies do not counteract their investment plans for the continent. Issues such as corruption, hostile government policies, stern religious leanings, and poverty are issues that tend to make Africa lag behind in terms of development. However, with the significant benefits that could accrue to the local economy from gaming and gambling, a lot of these problems can be bypassed.
Written by: Bright Elemeje