Online Betting in Africa: Winners and Losers

Africans love betting and especially sports betting at Betlion. Although 40% of Africans still live under poverty, the continent has a huge number of bettors. For instance, in Nigeria, 60 million people between the age of 18-40 participate in sports betting. They spend 3000 Naira per day on a sports bet.

Africa is a continent with 54 countries that have significant diversity. Countries have different cultures, religions, people, beliefs, and economies. As a result, it is difficult to regulate online gambling in Africa under similar rules and regulations.

In South Africa, 50 % of adults are active on sports betting on a regular basis. Therefore, many African countries carry a huge mass of bettors. As a result, both local and international operators keep venturing the African space to offer the service. Betway is one of the international online sportsbooks that has stormed the African market.

People who support sports betting in Africa say it has various benefits. First, it provides employment opportunities to many and especially the youths. Second, it generates revenue to the government through taxes thus promoting economic growth. Lastly, it generates quick money for people. It might be true, but its negative effects are heavy.

When it comes to Kenya there are more losers in betting than winners in betting. Some keep on placing bets with the hope of recovering their lost money in wagering. In 2016, research revealed that 78% of university students are problem gamblers. A university student hanged himself after losing a bet worth $790 in 2016. Afterward, more suicidal cases due to bet loss among others continue to pop up.

In 2018, gamblers in Kenya wagered more than $30 billion in a month. Unfortunately, the government stopped the dance. The wagers were ready to spend more than Sh. 360 billion. The founder of the Gaming Awareness Society of Kenya, Nelson Bwire, revealed that wagering is a major contributor to mental-health-related problems in Kenya. The effects are so evident amongst the people including addiction, unmanageable debts, family breakups, depression, and even suicide.

Reasons for the increased rate of online betting in Africa

Africa has the highest number of unemployed youths. People between the age of 15 to 24 who do have jobs across the content tally at 200 million. By 2050 the African population may double. In turn, Africa will have the highest number of youths. As a result, sports betting continues to spread in Africa.

Africans love sports. Countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe has huge followers of football, cricket, and rugby. They also love to place bets for these sports to get some pennies using popular online betting sites: Betika, Betin, Sportybet or 1xbet. They mostly place bets based on the outcome of the matches, the player who scores the most, and the number of goals.

Also, the sports betting laws in most African countries are lenient. This has seen many US and European betting companies camp in Africa. South Africa is one of the few countries that has regulated gambling laws in Africa. Most Muslim African countries do not allow gambling at all. The Gambia is one of the countries that do not allow any form of betting.

Lastly, mobile gaming is at its peak. As more African continue to own phones they also realize the fun of sports betting. Sports betting operators have partnered with top mobile operators like Orange Money, Airtel Money, and M-Pesa to link their betting products. This has allowed Africans to enjoy sports betting at the comfort of their homes. Even when you are in remote areas, you can enjoy betting through your phone.

Effects of COVID 19 on online betting

COVID 19 monster has heavily affected every sector in African countries including gambling. Although the infection rate is low compared to European and American nations, the effects are heavily felt. Bingo halls, casinos, and race-tracks remain closed due to health risks.

Although online betting is still available to people, the demand for its alternatives has increased. Sports betting is one of the most affected gambling forms. This is because of postponed matches across the globe over the last six months. This has left gamblers with just a few options to place their bets.

GlobalWebIndex Coronavirus data shows that wagers get more connections through the phone than on laptops. As a result, online poker, virtual sports, and e-sports have limelight compared to other forms of wagers. This has attracted online gambling operators and sports leagues to offer e-sports and virtual sports.

According to Optimove online poker has shot up by 43% since lockdown in most countries across the world. For first-time poker players, the rate has increased by up to 255%. A shocking and concerning increase-right? This is caused by high rates of job layoffs and salary cut off amongst the people. People are desperately looking for pennies to feed their loved ones.

The future of online betting post COVID-19

According to Yahaya Maikori, a senior partner of Law Allianz, the African countries are likely to loosen their online gaming law. Countries might be forced to loosen nuts on rules and regulations governing online betting. For instance, in South Africa, casinos are significant contributors to the country’s revenue and have been shut down. The government might be at the forefront to legitimize online gambling after the pandemic.

According to Forbes, internet usage has increased by 70% worldwide due to COVID-19 which has in turn boosted online gaming.   As a result, operators who are locked out may take the opportunity to introduce more e-sports, poker, online casinos, and slots. This is because they need something to make both ends meet in life.  On the other hand, mobile game providers can take the advantage of the market glued on phones to offer the service.

In the near future, you will only require checking the gambling rules set in your country and you can set an account with Betway Africa. Online betting is becoming a booming business in few years to come. It can be good if African countries come up with rules to regulate online gambling with fairness and integrity.