Gambling has been popular since the early 1800 in some countries. In Cameroon and many African countries, it became popular after the beginning of the 20th century, but the game rules and bets differed from other parts of the world. Online gambling, however, brought together all players from all gambling-accepting countries and states.
You can play poker or roulette online with players from next door or neighbouring countries, and you wouldn’t know. The power of a secure internet connection and the fast advancement of mobile technology made Africa bet more.
According to online casino experts from Casino Alpha, the global online gambling industry will exceed $88 billion in 2023, with over 70% of Africans engaging in any form of gambling throughout the year. The data shows that the number of Africans placing wagers remains at an all-time high in the past two years. Multiple analyses include gamblers’ preferences, habits and risks associated with the form of betting they are currently practising.
In recent years, online gambling has witnessed significant growth across Africa. Online casinos, sports betting sites, and virtual poker rooms are just a few examples of the digital gambling landscape that has captured the attention of African bettors. The ability to bet anytime, anywhere, coupled with attractive bonuses and promotions, has fueled the growth of online gambling.
Online gambling in Africa has experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 20% in recent years, reflecting the rapid expansion of the digital gambling market.
What African countries gamble the most?
Although there are millions of Africans betting, there is not that much recent research about this matter. One of the most actual statistics indicating the countries with the highest number of bettors comes from Statista, which was finished in 2021.
A staggering 96% of South Africans reported engaging in some form of gambling activity in 2021. The country has a well-established gambling industry with numerous land-based casinos, betting shops, and online gambling platforms. Gambling is legally regulated and accessible to a wide range of demographics. People are drawn to the lottery, horse betting, football and slots. Tourists also engage in gambling in South Africa’s casinos. They usually pick slot games, video poker machines and roulette tables.
In Nigeria, 73% of the population participates in gambling activities. Nigeria’s large population and widespread availability of gambling options play a significant role in this figure. The country has a thriving sports betting industry, with a strong focus on football, which resonates with Nigerians’ passion for the sport.
Additionally, the rise of mobile technology and the increasing popularity of foreign online betting platforms with welcome packages have contributed to the growth of gambling in Nigeria.
Kenya has around 62% of the population gambling on online platforms. The country has a dynamic and tech-savvy population that readily embraces mobile technology, providing easy access to online gambling platforms. The laws are permissive, and people can play in online casinos even with digital coins.
Worrying data regarding youths engaging in gambling show that Kenya comes in first place with 83.9%, according to Statista’s data from 2021. This means adolescents find ways to place bet slips and play online casino games. Doing this increases their risk of developing a gambling addiction much faster than a typical young adult engaging in online wagering.
While slot machines enjoy widespread popularity across the continent, preferences may vary between countries. In Nigeria, progressive jackpot slots often attract significant attention due to their potential for massive payouts, while in Kenya, themed slots based on popular movies or TV shows resonate strongly with players. However, the top most played slots: Book of Dead, Starburst, and Gonzo’s Quest, are played in all these countries.
Slot machines contribute a substantial portion of casino revenue in many African countries. For instance, in South Africa, slots account for approximately 70% of total casino revenue in 2021, showcasing its importance in the market.
Sports betting emerges as the undisputed leader in African gambling preferences. People love seeing and wagering on competitions of all sizes, but online sportsbooks declared they make significantly more considerable revenue from national teams’ matches.
Football and horse racing bets are the most prevalent among African players. Although horse racing bets are usually made upon each bettor’s favourite jockey or horse, in football, things are different. More advanced gamblers seek possibilities of winning by wagering on international matches or foreign cups from the UK or Spain.
According to industry reports, sports betting accounts for approximately 70-80% of Africa’s total gambling market, reflecting this betting category’s immense popularity.
Online gambling trends are global. Slots are an all-time favourite in most gambling-allowing countries. Their straightforward approach and multiple re-spin features flock together casino enthusiasts no matter where they are from.
Football betting is also popular in Africa and Europe due to common ground and our competitive nature as nations. So, the gambling market will keep thriving in African countries as technology keeps improving and laws permit these leisure activities.