Africa is the second-largest continent with the domination of young people under 25, so its potential of creating the largest iGaming market in the world is really huge. Currently, there are two African countries where gambling is flourishing including South Africa and Egypt. However, there are many factors that contribute to the growth and development of this sphere all around the continent and you can already see great progress in this direction. Let’s get a little deeper into this topic and analyze it from the inside.
Factors that contribute to the development of the Africa iGaming market
The potential of Africa in the development of the world’s iGaming market is huge since this continent has become a tempting market for investors in this sphere. There are several reasons why the situation has changed so drastically for the several recent years:
- Sustained economic growth of the region: real gross domestic products growth in Central and Western Africa used to be 1% in 2020, though it is predicted to increase to 2.1% in 2021 and 3% in 2022.
- Increase in the number of younger people: over half of the African population are young people under 25, while the median age is 19.7 in the country. It creates a perfect audience for the iGaming market targeted at youth, first of all.
- Mobile penetration: over 3 million people are forecast to use smartphones on the continent by 2023.
- A wider area of the quality Internet connection: despite the fact that the continent features the lowest Internet penetration rate on the globe (around 22%), the number of users is constantly growing and in some countries like Kenya and Libya, the share of the Internet users is almost the same as in the US, for example.
- Adoption of gambling laws: gambling legislation gets clear and modern making it easier for gambling companies and operators to enter the market.
Overview of gambling in Africa
Online casinos get more popular in Africa every day attracting a bigger number of players. However, all the countries on the continent can be divided into three major groups when it comes to the gambling regulations and revenues in this sphere:
- States that legalized gambling fully or partially.
- Countries where online casino games and sports betting are banned officially.
- States with no regulation in this area.
Such a situation made it possible for the first group of countries to attract big investments that resulted in higher income and contribution to economic growth. The rest of the states can only see the inflow of foreign service operators that take a good share of players and their deposits.
The example of success achieved by such countries as South Africa thanks to the adoption of gambling legislation encourages other states to follow the same path. Now players can easily find a real money casino in South Africa, while South African gross gaming revenue will reach $2.3 billion by 2023. There are also other countries with significant achievements in the gambling industry too. The gambling market of Nigeria with the largest population number on the continent constitutes 7% of Africa’s total, while such countries as Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, and others made a rapid uptick in this sphere too.
What iGaming directions do take the lead?
Gambling is a quite versatile way of entertainment with lots of opportunities, but African people are true fans of sports betting, first of all. Experts say that every third Nigerian places bets every day and the total annual bet amount placed in this country reaches $2 billion. Around 24% of the industry revenue is received from sports betting, though other directions are gaining popularity and attracting players too.
What does the future have in store?
If you look again at the factors described above, you can easily make a conclusion that players from Africa have received more opportunities to try gambling and become true fans of this entertainment type. Therefore, Africa is a true potential for iGaming providers, and they will look for different ways to squeeze into this market. However, there is still one big obstacle in this way – the lack of regulation. Not all countries agree to adopt laws to regulate online casinos and simply ban this activity. It results in the flourishing of the gray market when players access foreign licensed online platforms despite any prohibitions.
However, there is still room for development. Experts predict that the number of Africans involved in gambling will double in the next decade, and great potential is seen in the countries located in the northern part where the industry is planning to generate over $90 billion per year.
The growth and development of Africa’s iGaming market is irreversible, and this is good news not only for players but also companies since they get new markets for their products. However, the pandemic and other circumstances have influenced the speed and the way how this process takes place, so experts do not hurry to make accurate forecasts when it comes to exact numbers in this field!