Africa has seen a significant increase in the number of people who participate in online gambling, which includes anything from poker to sports betting. Sports betting has exploded in popularity throughout the continent in recent years, compared to only two years ago.
It is possible that the COVID-19 epidemic is a contributing factor to this increase, but one of the most significant is that players are shifting their attention away from land-based gaming and towards the internet business. Additionally, the emergence of new technology in Africa has aided the expansion of gaming on the continent.
According to a study conducted by the South African government, more than half of all individuals participate in frequent online sports betting activities. This has also been made easier by the convenience of mobile money, which has spread across Africa.
In an interview with the Southern Times, Dr Alphonce Bere, the head of statistics at the University of Venda in South Africa,
explains that as a result of the increased number of smartphone users in Africa, betting companies have seen an increase in the number of people placing wagers on sporting events. He goes on to say the following:
“Sports betting is more popular on the continent now than it was two years ago,” says the author. The vast majority of African bettors have accounts with foreign online betting companies that operate in a variety of countries throughout the world. Football and horse racing are now the most popular sports bets in Africa, according to the African Sports Betting Association. Horse racing has piqued the curiosity of many people in North Africa, and the sport has been there since the 15th century. Over the course of more than seven decades, Africans have placed bets on football.”
On a statistical level, according to Dr Bere’s research, approximately 60 million people in Nigeria (representing approximately 30% of the total population) between the ages of 18 and 40 actively participate in sports betting online, with the average wager placed per person per day estimated to be US$15.
Due to the fact that sports are deeply engrained in the cultures of many African nations, football betting is perhaps the most popular type of online gambling across the continent. Even though it is clear that Africa is on its way to become a leader in sports betting (given that the majority of nations have legalized land-based sports betting), there is still much work to be done in terms of developing online sports betting products throughout the continent.
Another key factor for the rise in betting is that many individuals are putting their lives on the line to earn a livelihood due to the lack of work opportunities.