Sports Betting In Africa – An Industry At Growth

Sports Betting In Africa – An Industry At Growth

Since the dawn of time, humankind has gotten involved in gambling. The Ancient Romans embraced gladiator fights as a means of betting on sports as we know it today. Ancient Chinese loved their lotteries especially during the Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC when the game of Keno was people’s favorite. Gambling continues to give a thrill to humans all over the world and no continent is excluded. This article will turn to Africa where sports betting is a fast growing industry.

Looking at the current boom of gambling on sports in Africa we can start by concluding that it’s actually not a new phenomy. Africans have had a passion gambling activities for millenniums. However, it was only in the middle of the 20th century that these forms of betting started to be officially supervised by government officials. The gambling industry is growing steadily and experts claim it has the potential to change the face of the economy on the continent. Some would even argue that more peaceful relations between neighboring African countries could be achieved with the help of better legal norms for sports betting in the region.

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Sports Betting In Africa Today

At the moment, sports betting in Africa revolves around football and horse racing. Northern Africa has expressed its love for horse race betting since the 15th century, when the Ottoman Empire turned it into one of its symbols. It was not until 1965, however, that South Africa decided to legalize horse race betting, with the complete reformation of the activity occurring in 2004.

Football betting has been present on the continent for more than seven decades, ever since it became the most popular sport here. Today the numbers speak for themselves. Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya reached $40 billion in 2018 alone. At the moment, the sports betting market in South Africa is projected to reach over 460 million U.S. dollars by the end of 2019.

The popularity of sports betting is undeniable on the entire continent. Africans today use offshore sites to place their bets. These are the same bookies as punters in Australia or the UK would use, but foreign operators are showing great interest in local establishments. We expect to see a quick rise of virtual national bookies in the next coming  years and their expansion on the African market will drive even more growth.

The Main Factors Behind The Expected Growth

The government in South Africa has issued an official statistic according to which more than half of adults here wager on sports regularly. Plus, more than 60 million Nigerians ages 18 to 40 get involved in a form of sports betting. They spend, on average, about $15 a day on their wagering. Despite the figures, the African gambing market, especially when it comes to sports betting, is still considered undeveloped and as such expected to grow further. Below we will look at some of the reasons feeding these expectations;

Africans Are Big Sports Fans

Africa has always had a special passion for sports, with football being one of the most beloved sports on the continent. Cricket, rugby and various running races are also on top of the same list of preferred sports with millions of passionate fans who watch live events in local bars, pubs and coffee shops.

With so many leagues to choose from at a global level, there is no wonder the sport enjoys this kind of popularity here. Europe and South American leagues, FIFA events, regional African teams – there are literally hundreds of matches to watch every new season and an even greater number of bets to place.

The English Premiership League is one of the most popular leagues on the continent. The sub-Saharan African audience alone counts 280 million people. Nigerians are partnering up with the English Premier League in order to create more economic growth in the region. Arsenal Day is the name of a new holiday that some Nigerian states have embraced in relation to the English Premier League.

Why are all these people so obsessed with the EPL? It’s simple: there are numerous African players that play for many teams in the league. Africans are rooting for their own with lots of devotion.

Africa Has A Young Population

There are more than 200 million people ages 18 to 24 in Africa and the population is growing quickly. These factors represents a huge opportunity that online sports betting operators must take advantage of. Younger bettors have no problem using smartphones and high tech devices to place their wagers compared to older population segments. Africa is an excellent cradle for mobile sports betting operators. A bet as small as $1 could lead to a $500 win. Given the large number of unemployed youngsters, most of them will try to use affordable sports betting as a means of earning an income.

To summarize we can conclude that Africa is offering bettors some of the greatest opportunities in terms of land and virtual sports betting. As the European gaming industry is believed to have reached its full potential, Africa is just at the beginning of this journey. Sports betting is expected to quickly grow in popularity in the upcoming years in Africa and lead to an important economic growth on the continent as foreign gaming operators look for new investments.

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