Africa and Sports – The Rise of the Sports Betting Market


With so many different sports available, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the global sports betting market is so large and constantly growing. One of the biggest emerging markets, when it comes to sports betting, is Africa. There are many different reasons behind this statistic, so if you live on the second-biggest continent in the world, you might be interested in learning more and even how you can also participate in the activity. Here are some essentials you should know.

Africans love sports

If you live in Africa, you’re surely aware of how passionate the people are about sports. The popularity of football is unmatched, but cricket, rugby, basketball, hockey, tennis, car and motorcycle racing, boxing, and other sports all have an interested audience. When it comes to football, Africans love to follow different leagues, like the English, Spanish, and Italian ones. Besides betting on the winner, the top scorer and number of goals are also popular bets to make. What is more, the fact that so many big names in these leagues come from Africa is also a huge contributing factor. While the kids used to dream of becoming the new Pelé and Maradona, they now have local legends like Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, and Mohamed Salah to look up to.

Seeing as how they are so interested in sports, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Africans combine this great entertainment source with an opportunity to earn some money. Fortunately, the market is expanding and interested punters are getting an increasing number of options in terms of bookies.

Providers are flocking to Africa

Recent studies show that 60 million adults between the ages of 18 and 40 in Nigeria bet on sports regularly. It’s estimated that about 3000 Naira is spent every day on bets. Moreover, when it comes to South Africa, the government statistics show that more than half of the adult residents regularly place sports bets. The situation is similar in East, West, Central, and Southern Africa and countries like Ghana and Kenya, even though the laws vary from nation to nation with some completely banning it.

With that in mind, providers have realized the huge potential that comes with such an interest in sports betting. Businesses that already operate in Europe and the United States are starting to open their doors to African residents, which means that there is now a rising number of providers that are available to locals. Having several bookmakers to choose from comes with the benefit of finding various odds and bonuses that players can make the most of. For example, players can find a deposit bonus that gives them more money to play with when they open an account.

When choosing a bookmaker to join, players should remember to carefully read the terms and conditions to ensure they properly understand their rights. Furthermore, players should also understand the laws of their country. While some markets like South Africa have regulated the practice, in most other countries the laws are a bit lenient, meaning that players are typically free to play on sites that suit them most. However, licenses are still vital to prevent getting scammed. Regulators like the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission ensure everything is done by the book.

The population is young and in need of money

With more than 1.3 billion residents and over 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24, the median age of the continent is only 19.7 years, which makes it the youngest continent on the planet. However, a large number of these individuals do not have jobs, as it is estimated that about 40% live below the poverty line. Moreover, in certain countries, 25% of people are unemployed.

It’s easy to see, then, how betting on sports seems like an attractive way to make money. Simply by placing a few bets on a sport they like, individuals can earn enough to afford food, pay for school, or save up for their bills.

On the other hand, local operators create more job opportunities as well as contribute to economic growth and tax revenue.

Technology is constantly evolving

Another big factor in the rise of sports betting in Africa is the fact that technology is constantly evolving. Better infrastructure is being implemented in different countries, thus allowing faster internet with 5G. Moreover, the mobile penetration rate is constantly rising in Africa, and young generations prefer betting when on the go. Fortunately, besides more affordable phones and reduced data costs, there are sports betting apps that are available on various mobile devices.

In addition to the app variety, players also have an array of e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill among others at their disposal, which makes betting on the move much more convenient. Plus, leading mobile phone operators have teamed up with sports betting services, so that money services like Airtel Money and Orange Money are linked to players’ smartphones.

There are many aspects that factor into the popularity of sports betting in Africa. From the evolution of technology to more lenient laws, we can only expect this sector to grow further in the coming years.

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