COVID-19 pushes digitalisation for the African iGaming industry

With the worldwide pandemic, the world is experiencing new trends and focussing on innovation. Evidently, the online industry is booming as land-based casinos faced shut down causing people to look elsewhere for gambling.

Recently, Kenya has experience mass unemployment due to forced lockdown, with casino employees fighting for the reopening of businesses. Mozambique on the other hand has just reopened its casinos in bid to boost the socio-economy. 

The National Lottery Commission (NLC) in Nigeria noted a decline in revenue amid the pandemic attributed to a halt in European sports: “The coronavirus has affected sports betting business because people are no longer betting, they only play computer games which as a result has affected what betting companies remit to the commission,” a source explained.

In effect, most gamblers are playing from their home using online platforms. However, there are risks associated in terms of regulation and licenses.

For example, in South Africa which only allows online sports betting, BetCentric issues a warning to customers “avoid the temptation to access unlicensed gambling operators, which may still be operational despite the preventive measures in place, whether physically or on online platforms.” 

Online casinos are thus facing big challenges, particularly regarding licensing and regulation. Nonetheless, recent news have shown a push for regulating online gambling such as in Ghana

african casino /SiGMA

As the land-based casinos aren’t able to welcome customers, they have to find a way to provide a real-life experience to attract more customers.

H2 Gambling Capital released its expectation for online gambling’s share in 2020 with global gross win to exceed 18% in the future.

Africa looks like the new iGaming destination as many providers are looking to tap into this fruitful market. The most attractive markets in this continent are in East Africa, and particularly Kenya being the target country.

Will Africa be the new Gaming Hub?

Africa is the second most populated continent in the world, with a population of 1.26 Billion people. 35 countries out of 54 already allow sport betting, and most of them are on the way to legalise other forms of iGaming. Moreover, mobile payments are really common in this continent which naturally aid the online business. In addition, the population demographic is young, and the millennials tend to gamble a lot.

A study showed that around 79% of all sports bets are on football matches, and Kenyans are betting at least once a week with an average of $50 spent per month. Moreover, the number of mobile users has significantly increased in this country and the whole continent, alongside a decrease in the costs of mobile data which makes it more accessible to all.

All those statistics brings to light the attractiveness of the continent for iGaming operators, with emphasis on East Africa and especially Kenya, and trying to breach its markets.

About SiGMA Europe - Malta

SiGMA Group has announced the postponement of its Europe summit, which was planned to be held in Malta on 17-19 November 2020. The show will now open its doors early next year in February, running from the 16-18th, making it the first event to headline the 2021 gaming calendar.

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