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An Industry At Growth: Sports Betting In Africa

by Cliff Littler (2021-10-26)

Sports betting has been a human activity since ancient times. From the times when punters would bet on Gladiator fights to the current scenario where a gambler can place a bet online from the comfort of their couch. Africans have not been left behind, with online sports betting sites such as BetwaySA admitting many users who are actively involved in sports betting. The gambling industry in Africa is growing steadily. According to experts, the industry has the potential of changing the African continent’s economy.

The Current State of African Sports Betting

Currently, sports betting in Africa mainly features bets on football and horse racing. There is a lot of interest in horse racing in North Africa that dates back to the 15th century. Reports also suggest that Africans have been betting on football for more than 70 years now. In 2018, it was believed that Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa reached 40 billion USD.

Sports betting is more popular today in the continent than it was two years ago. Most African punters have user accounts on international online betting platforms such as Betway, which have operations in other overseas’ jurisdictions.

Factors behind the Growth

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According to reports by the South African government, more than half of the South African adults place sports bets. Studies reveal that over 60 million Nigerians aged between 18 and 40 participate in different forms of sports betting in Nigeria. The punters usually spend about 15 USD daily on sports betting. Here are some of the factors fuelling the steady growth of sports betting in Africa:

Africans Love Sports

Africans love sports, with football being the most loved sport in the continent. Other sports that also get a lot of attention from Africans include cricket, rugby, and running races. Furthermore, African youth are big fans of European leagues and other FIFA events. You’ll find them flocked in local bars and hotels following the games keenly.

These leagues also present them with opportunities to place bets on various games. The EPL is perhaps the most popular league in the continent. Most punters on Betway usually place their bets on the top European leagues like the EPL, La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga. Other European tournaments like the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa also present the punters with other options.

The Majority of Africans Are Youthful

The potential of the African sports betting industry is based on its youthful population. Reports suggest that over 200 million Africans are aged between 18 and 24. This young generation has no problem using their smartphones to access sportsbooks. Operators like Betway have taken advantage of the market potential to offer these youth with robust online platforms. Furthermore, the high unemployment rates have pushed these youths to online gambling to make a living.

Bottom Line

Africa’s sports betting market has not hit its peak yet. Few countries have made strides ahead of the rest like South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. However, the governments have not found a proper way of regulating the online betting industry. In the future, you should expect to see more governments coming up with regulations and more operators joining the market.