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How Betting Has Taken Over Africa

There are few other phenomena that have taken over the African continent as aggressively over the past few years quite like online betting has. While the continent is no stranger to fads like most of the rest of the world, the sharp upturn and continued growth and engagement  in online betting causes reason for joy in some cases, and distress in others. This article will discuss some of the online betting growth factors that can be used to understand this sharp upturn. 


Gambling is one of the world’s oldest engaged-in activities. As early as events with unclear outcomes arose, communities of eager gamblers arose with them, in the hope of making a wager that would see them walk away with more than they had initially put down. 


It is reported that dice were found in Egypt that were successfully dated back to 3000 BC. What all of this points to is the fact that betting and gambling certainly aren’t new, inhabitants of African countries have been at the activity for centuries. However in recent years the sharp upturn in gambling activity, especially in the online form requires a little bit of explanation. 


First off, one explanation for Africa’s embrace of betting culture is due to the fact that there are so many quality bookmakers out there offering incredible products. These days, modern betting sites are far more than just sportsbooks, they offer games promotions and virtual renditions of the real thing, making their platforms more like complete entertainment hubs. 


What’s more is that the region has been inspired by some of the big name bookmakers that have been around for decades. Platforms like Bet365 and Betway are common in Africa, but betting sites like SportPesa in Kenya, Hollywoodbets in South Africa and Bet9ja in Nigeria each offer the punters of their home countries something specifically targeted to local players. 


As a result, the market has become flooded with both original big name international betting sites, as well as local bookmakers giving eager punters a headache as to which bookmaker to choose. 



Another reason for this iGaming revolution on the African continent is due to the fact that African people love sport, and follow a number of sporting disciplines, most universally football, almost religiously. There are plenty of African players who have made their mark across world football, who have as a result developed cult-like followings from their countrymen back home. 


Nothing quite inspires the action to bet than a vested interest, and having a hometown hero wave the flag of your home nation high is generally more than enough to get punters to start signing up and betting on their sporting icons. 


Furthermore, the penetration of mobile devices into the African continent is another growth factor that is attached to this betting boom. But what is the relationship between more mobile phones and betting you may ask? Quite simply, in order to create an online betting profile, you need some kind of device, and it is no secret that the average income of inhabitants in Africa is far lower than inhabitants of say Europe or North America. Devices in Africa have been far harder to come by, but not anymore. 


Mobile phones however have become far more affordable, allowing more and more people with less money to be able to access these devices, opening them up to all that’s out there on the internet. 


Last but not least, the youth of African people is another factor that can be further used to explain the embrace of betting on the continent. Based on census data, the average age of a person living in Africa is below 20. Youthful people are simply more likely to not only engage with technology (such as mobile devices), but are also more likely to engage in risk taking behaviour, which is the very basis of making wagers. 


The list of why betting has so greatly increased on the continent can be ascribed to many factors, however in this article, the factors that are most prominent have been covered. Whether this is positive or negative is very much based on personal opinion.


Gambling and betting, like alcohol, has the ability to foster enjoyment, however has addictive qualities and can leave devastation in its wake. It is up to operators with the help of the government to ensure that players are well and informed, and provided with the resources necessary to ensure all those suffering from gambling addiction are catered to. 


Written by How Africa

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