Africa is slowly but surely developing all its industries across the board. Gambling is no exception with an estimated worth of around $37 billion dollars by 2018. This information was released by the professional service network PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) in their report concerning Africa. They have identified the major three countries that lead the development and growth of gambling on the continent – South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. While the report itself doesn’t reflect upon the use and growth of the mobile portion of the market, the use of new technology as well as utilizing new ways to bet has marked the shift towards mobile.
Africans are betting on mobiles. Although there are no formal statistics available, it is safe to say mobile gambling follows a trend of the smartphone being the primary communication device for so many people. Many of Europe’s bookmakers see Africa as a growth market primarily driven by football betting, which is, in turn, sparking an interest in mobile casino gaming.
Mobile gambling in the leading trio is predominantly led by the most popular offline and online activities such as casino games, sportsbetting and bingo. Casino gaming is still biggest in brick and mortar casinos however with the continuous expansion of 3G and 4G networks for mobile users, mobile casino gaming is gaining new heights. Some apps such as Euro Palace online casino’s Real Money Slots are also gaining traction.
Full scale rollout of the newer betting trends is impeded by proliferation of 3G and 4G compatible devices. The majority of people still do not own a smartphone to be able to participate in the online gambling market from a mobile device, even with the new mobile internet technologies. That is why the local sportsbook establishment for instance, take inventive approaches to extend their reach towards the market. The SMS based betting apps are a huge hit, like Elitebetkenya in Kenya, Euro Palace online casino and Nairabet in Nigeria. Thanks to an effortless interface and message-based betting, even the poorly regulated and gaming-barren locations allow for gambling on the spot.
The market itself isn’t without fault however. Regulation by the governing bodies is strict in South Africa for instance, where new legislation has been issued to limit the approach to the emerging online casinos. In countries like Kenya, the situation is quite reversed – gambling is liberal and players can indulge themselves in either online or mobile gambling. There is a growing schism in the ruling agencies however, with the Council of Governors seeking greater role in the right to issue licenses to newfound gambling establishments from the Betting Control and Licensing Board.
In Nigeria, the country with the fastest growth rate of gambling in Africa, the situation is not so different. With only 3 casinos that are regulated by the government, illegal gaming in all of its forms is rife and poses a threat to the introduced system. You can read up on developments in greater detail here.
Overall however, it seems that technology and the desire to implement the newest and most sought after gaming activities will triumph over the issues that are tied to this emerging branch on Africa’s soil.