Africa is a scenic continent known for the abundance of mineral resources, raw materials, and exotic wildlife. It is also a place where people are attracted to sports activities and events. Furthermore, sports betting is as popular there as in Europe or the US. When it comes to gambling and legit casinos, the situation is a bit different. Here we will delve into the topic of online casinos in Africa and see whether they are popular and if they will perhaps rise in popularity.
Online Gambling in Africa
Online gambling and sports betting in Africa are controversial topics, much like anywhere else, so the countries are pretty divided. Some allow both forms of betting, others ban them entirely, and there are those where it is permitted, but it’s not regulated. These views largely depend on the religious ideas that dominate within a specific country. For example, there are more religious people in Sudan than in Morocco, and as a result, you are unlikely to find gamblers in Sudan.
In terms of the legal framework, there were two significant laws or Gambling Acts that played a big part in 1996 and 2004. The first one from 1996 legalized different forms of gambling, including lottery and sports, betting. The one in 2004, however, placed an embargo on the online casinos, but not on online betting. Also, winnings from betting are not considered income sources and are not taxed. As for online casinos, they are regulated on the state level, as mentioned before.
Where Are Online Casinos Popular in Africa
The main contributors to the exponential growth of the gambling market in Africa are smartphones and better internet access. Countries that are most active on this front are South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Botswana, and Tanzania. However, much like in other European countries where gambling is legal, the concern for the youth is on the rise as well. There are fears that the promotion of responsible gambling is not enough to address this issue.
As for online casinos, almost every regulated entity stresses the importance of responsible gambling. Moreover, those who wish to play using only minor investments can easily do so. This is because multiple platforms offer welcome and loyalty bonuses to their users, like free spins or bonus funds. You can find different online casino offers on platforms that aggregate this type of data and check if the sites you wish to gamble on are to be trusted. In other words, the system is designed to allow you to play without significant losses and reminds the players not to spend too much time playing.
User Base in Africa
According to studies conducted in 2017, millennials are among the fastest-growing gambling communities, as they rely on their smartphones to play. In the poll study, it was revealed that over 50% of participants age between 17 and 35 use their smartphones for sports betting, and in Kenya, the number is over 70%. This is not only because there are more smartphone users, but it has to do with the sports scene as a whole. Once again, a better internet connection also brought more accessibility to sports events. Meaning there are more offers even when no significant events are happening in a particular sport.
There are land-based casinos in the countries that were mentioned in the previous section as casino players. These same land-based casinos also have an online variant, so users typically check if they can use those websites. If the site cannot be reached, maybe due to their location, they will explore different options online. Young people are not too attracted to casino games, given how they have access to video games. This is why online casinos are adding arcades as an option to attract a younger audience. So, once those become available, the popularity is expected to increase.
More Devoted Fans
In such a vast community, it is no surprise that some take this form of entertainment more seriously. It’s not just a hobby to them but a career choice. This is because they rely on advanced gambling strategies to maximize their winning chances. Of course, these techniques are refined using free games or by playing casino games with friends. This also applies to sports betting, as data analysis can help account for multiple factors that you don’t see by simply looking at the odds.
Africa is likely the next big market for iGaming as this form of entertainment is becoming more popular. This will also likely lead to higher levels of regulation and more restrictions in terms of marketing. So far, it seems that sports betting is a preferred choice, but with more online casino options and different games, that can likely change.
Chriss is an experienced gambling software developer and currently works as a Game Expert at Gamblizard. He plays a great deal of slots games but also enjoys playing poker and competitive video games. Chris is also a writer and loves to cover topics related to the iGaming industry and tips for beginner casino players.