Africa ranks among the continents with the fastest growing number of sports fans. In addition to following their favorite sports, there is a new wave of sports betting, with a big number now involved with online sports betting. It goes without saying, soccer is the most popular sport among Africans, but other disciplines like athletics, rugby, volleyball, basketball, and boxing are also popular. Initially, the continent was not known as a hub for casinos, but today, you can place bets on a betting app right from wherever you are.
With more sportsbooks venturing into the African market over the last few years, we evaluate some of the reasons why online sports betting has been on the rise in the African continent.
#1. Mobile betting
Bookies have taken advantage of the mobile betting platform, with special apps for both Android and iOS developed. A larger number of the African population above the age of 18 years owns, or has access to a mobile phone, which has made it possible for them to register with one or two betting companies. Besides, with mobile betting, fans can bet on sports events from wherever they are.
#2. The convenience of mobile money
A lot of development in Africa can be attributed to the tremendous growth of mobile money. M-Pesa from Safaricom was launched in the early 2000s, and that was the turning point for various industries, long before the betting industry became what it is today. Today, M-Pesa and other mobile money platforms have partnered with several bookmakers to provide customers with quicker mobile payment services in addition to other options such as MasterCard, Skrill, and Neteller, among others.
#3. Relaxed gambling regulations
The betting market in Africa is not the same as Europe or America. The betting laws in most of the European and American countries are so strict, making it harder for betting companies to pitch tents. Ideally, these regulations are mainly for protecting customers against frauds, but with African nations still considered third-world economies, foreign investments are welcome. Strict measures are yet to be put in place, with only South Africa boasting the best regulated market.
#4. High rates of unemployment
The number of unemployed youths and adults in the African continent is alarming. Countries like Ghana, for example, have highly educated youths who are still unemployed. With the entry of foreign and local betting companies, these youths engage in online sports betting for the opportunities to win money. Unlike in developed countries, you can make wagers with as little as $1, or even less. That makes the playground more suitable even for the unemployed Africans out there.
#5. Entry of multiple betting companies
So many foreign and local betting companies have flooded the African market. The obvious competition for customers results in marketing and advertisements, thus creating awareness among the people. Even with so many Africans passionate about sports, advertisement through different media has played a massive role. Also, companies offer plenty of bonuses for new and existing customers, making betting an appealing venture among many sports fans.