Mobile Tech Pushes iGaming Forward on the Continent
Africa used to lag behind other continents when it comes to the development of gaming, but that is no longer the case now that the industry reached a staggering revenue of $590 million in 2021, and the number of players inhabiting the continent grew twice in the last few years. Moreover, 95% of African gamers use mobile devices, and the increased availability of affordable smartphones and solid internet connections added a significant boost to this lucrative market.
The Growth of iGaming in Africa
The iGaming market has come a long way in Africa, and it is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of 12% during the period between 2021 and 2026. There is a particular spike in sub-Saharan Africa where the number of gamers jumped from 77 million in 2015 to 186 million in 2021, and there are reasonable expectations that the number of users on the continent will reach one billion in the next five years. Increased mobile penetration also boosted the habit of online gambling, especially sports betting, and today close to 54% of sub-Saharan people aged from 17 to 35 have already tried at least one of its forms.
The Top iGaming Markets in Africa
The following three countries are taking the lead in the African market:
South Africa is definitely the largest gaming market on the continent, with an industry revenue of $289.5 in 2021 solely. The number of players in the same year reached 23.9 million, which stands at 40.67% of the country’s population. South Africa has the third-highest GDP on the continent and its people are happy to use their purchasing power to indulge in their favorite pastime. The players love the thrill of online casino games, and there are many platforms such as Playcasino.co.za that list valuable information about the best mobile casinos in South Africa. The variety of bonuses available is one of the key reasons why the players love gambling on mobile. From no deposit rewards to free spins and bonus cash, online gamers can enjoy some incredible freebies.
Although Nigeria is home to the largest number of players on the continent which stands at an incredible 46.5 million, it is actually Nigeria is the second largest market when it comes to its revenue which reached $184.6 million in 2021. However, when it comes to GGR, Nigeria is the largest gambling market in the sub-Saharan area, and the majority of the country’s GGR comes from sports betting. Around 30% of the population bets on sports daily, which is a large market of 65 million people who together spend $2 billion per year on sports betting. Due to some conflicts between the regulatory bodies, online gambling is still not regulated at the federal level.
Although Kenyan punters have been experiencing a number of difficulties caused by restrictive gambling laws, the country still remains one of the largest markets on the continent. Even though the domestic GGR fell from $300 million in 2018 to only $175 million in 2020, Kenya’s passion for sports betting keeps the market strong when compared to other countries in the area. At the moment, around 7 million Kenyans are registered for some form of gambling services, and the country’s young punters are mostly fond of football and all the game options related to it.
The Effect of Mobile
The majority of the players in Africa are mobile gamers, a staggering 95%, and the Covid-19 pandemic is another factor that contributed to the growth, next to the expanded accessibility to android and iOS devices. The continent is also experiencing greater connectivity which now allows access to sports matches via satellite. Africa is known as the continent with the world’s youngest population. Namely, around 60% of the population is under 25, making the area perfectly fit to embrace the increased use of technology and new forms of entertainment such as online casinos. The cost of mobile internet connectivity is also significantly reduced, which allowed the Africans to start enjoying a wide range of their favorite casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and even video poker. The development of iGaming is also facilitated by the coverage of 3G and 4G networks that have doubled in the past five years. Taking all the factors into consideration, Africa is a fertile ground for the development of new iGaming companies.
There is a lot of inborn passion for online gambling among Africans, especially when it comes to sports betting, and the recent rise in penetration of mobile devices across the continent did wonders for the expansion of the iGaming market. Recent technological advancements paired amazingly well with the world’s youngest nation, and it is reasonable to expect even more innovations and exciting new gaming companies in the following years.
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