Humans have been engaging in lotteries and sports betting for thousands of years. From ancient Romans wagering on gladiators, to ancient state-run lotteries in China, betting activities have remained to be part of our culture. In Africa, such activities have existed for centuries, with coordinated government involvement starting in the 20th century.
Over the last three decades, the African betting market has had an upward trajectory, giving rise to a multi-billion dollar industry. However, the African betting scene is continually changing due to several factors. Here are the latest betting trends in Africa.
Sports Betting On The Rise
Over the last decade, sports betting has exploded. In the top five countries to gamble in the continent, almost half of the adult population has participated in sports betting at one point or the other. In 2018, the sports betting market of South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria totalled nearly $40 billion, and the value is still growing.
The sports betting craze is not only limited to the more established economies but also budding ones. According to the South African government, more than half of the adults in the country engage in sports betting regularly. Compared to other countries in the continent, South Africa is more experienced with the sports betting industry.
While it’s legal for adults to engage in betting activities, most African countries don’t have clear gambling laws that can fully govern the market. However, most governments are trying their best to create laws that will protect betting fans while allowing them to capitalize on this growing industry.
Earlier this year, the Kenyan president declared war on lotteries and betting site operators, after putting some strict measures on the market late last year. Fortunately, it’s still legal to bet in Kenya, though other African governments are doing the same. In some countries like Uganda, Egypt, Somalia, and Sudan, there’s an official ban on sports betting, though punters can still place wagers in casinos.
Mobile Betting Continues To Grow
While major betting operators in the continent have operated betting shops in almost every town over the last decade, things are changing with the new generation of bettors. Today, most people enjoy betting from the comfort of their houses, especially during times when people are trying to keep a distance. Additionally, increased digital literacy and internet penetration has given the African betting industry a new direction.
In Africa today, over 40% of all bets placed on sports come from mobile devices. Today, casinos are also starting to take note of the new trends, prompting them to create refreshing and entertaining mobile casino games that you can play for fun and money. In fact, industry experts predict that mobile phone betting will dominate the African betting market by 2023.
While the rest of the world has been betting on esports for years, Africans have been sceptical about wagering on virtual games. However, esports betting is now starting to become a thing, especially with the younger generation of punters. Even better, leading operators in the continent are offering odds on different video games.