Africa was lagging in online gambling a few years ago. But, the continent is fast catching up with the rest of the world. The number of punters who gamble at local and foreign sportsbooks such as Betway has soared in the recent past. African punters wager on different sports including athletics, baseball, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, rugby, and volleyball. In this post, we discuss the rise of online sports betting in the continent.
The Popularity of Sports Betting in the Continent
Africa is a huge market for sportsbooks with a population of about 1 billion people. Even so, many Africans are low-income earners. People enjoy playing and watching various sports. More punters have started taking part in online casino and online sports betting. Millions of African gamblers wager at Betway on football, and rugby. For example, a 2014 sports betting report showed that Nigerian punters spend 1.8 billion Naira daily.
Reasons Why Online Sports Betting is developing in Africa
The following factors have promoted the growth of sports betting on the continent:
1. High Levels of Unemployment
More than 200 million Africans are between 15 and 24 years old. Most of them aren’t formally employed. Some nations have a high unemployment rate of up to 25 percent. Recent statistics state that the African population will double in the next 30 years. It has a high youth population. The governments are striving to create a conducive environment for foreign companies to expand into local markets. It will create many opportunities and reduce unemployment in the region.
2. Intense Passion for Sports
Most Africans love sports, especially athletics, soccer, and rugby. Millions of sports enthusiasts from the continent watch English, French, German, Italian and Spanish soccer leagues. But, basketball, baseball, boxing, cricket, horseracing, and car racing have a huge fan base in the region. Many punters wager on the number of goals a player will score or points a team will garner in a game.
3. Mobile Payment Services
Several years ago, many people transferred money to family and friends through banks. Now, different mobile payment services like Airtel Money, Orange Money, and MPesa allow you to send or receive money on your phone from anyone. Also, bookies have increased their payment options. Punters can deposit or withdraw money using mobile payments.
Improved internet connection has increased the use of mobile payments in Africa. It enables bettors to play pre-match and live bets on their phones. Mobile betting is popular in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. Local bookies are partnering with leading telecommunication firms such as Safaricom to offer a better sports betting experience to punters.
4. Lenient Betting Laws
Many African nations have lenient gambling laws. They allow American and European sportsbooks to open local branches provided they pay tax. South Africa is the only country that has strict sports betting regulations. Some Muslim states have banned all types of gambling.
Thousands of African punters wager at various bookies daily. Sports betting is both a source of entertainment and income for many sports enthusiasts. The continent is a lucrative betting market to reputable bookmakers such as Betway. An improved internet connection and mobile payment services have contributed to the rise of sports betting on the continent.