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Will this pandemic be the tipping point for online gambling in Africa?

Yahaya Maikori discusses opportunities of expanding and diversifying the industry

Usually the predictions during every round of an epidemic like SARS or Ebola have been catastrophic for Africa for reasons which range from poverty or poor healthcare to weak infrastructure. So how has Africa faired during this pandemic?  

Surprisingly most of Africa seemed readier to combat the pandemic than most of Europe and North America. Some people argue this is connected to Africa’s experience of dealing with similar outbreaks, while others attribute low infection rates to the hot climate. 

Yahaya Maikori, Senior partner of Law Allianz.

Yahaya Maikori who is senior partner of Law Allianz, a leading African gaming and entertainment law firm says this pandemic may be the tipping point for online gambling in Africa. 

Most African countries have decisively put their people under lockdown. Some have also imposed curfews, which have effectively led to the shut-down of almost every commercial activity including regular betting shops. In the last months Europe, North America and Asia have witnessed a spike in online gaming so it’s not a stretch to see this pattern replicated in Africa. Regular sports betting, which accounts for most of the industry’s revenue, has crashed to almost zero cause by the global suspension or cancellation of most sporting events.  

Yahaya Maikori adds: “For operators which have been locked out of the booming business, this may be the perfect opportunity to introduce and promote games such as poker, esports, online casino, bingo and slots to a market which was fixated with football, and the social experience of retail betting. 

Virtual games like virtual football or horseracing by Golden Race are already a favorite in certain markets. Also, mobile games providers can take advantage of the social distancing policy which has curtailed movement, to catch the attention of the retail market as well as engage its customers in a new channel. 

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