Crucial Compliance’s CEO, Paul Foster, embarked on a visit to Rwanda and South Africa to introduce a groundbreaking series of Safe Gambling Hackathons. These dynamic events aimed to harness the ideas and creativity of local talent and entrepreneurs in addressing gambling-related harms. Attended by CEOs of betting firms, government representatives, regulators, and the general public, the forums fostered collaboration and engagement.
The timing of this initiative is crucial as the region has become a target for foreign operators seeking business expansion. By aiming to spread gambling addiction awareness and prevent harm, Crucial is the first to take this initiative.
Africa has witnessed a troubling surge in gambling harm, with a paradoxical decrease in gamblers but a significant rise in spending. According to a report by African News (2022), many individuals view sports betting in Africa as a potential source of regular income and a pathway out of poverty.
A South African government survey from 2017 even found that “sports betting grew 14% per year from 2008 to 2016. Also, the number of South Africans who gambled fell from 57% to a third of the country’s adult population.” These worrying statistics are precisely why Crucial has moved to protect players. In two events hosted by Crucial in Kigali and Johannesburg, more than 100 professionals attended.
Successful collaborations were formed with betting operators, regulator teams and local government. Crucial also showed a commitment to the community surrounding this market sector. It invested in and incubated new ideas from local entrepreneurs. Crucial commits to globalising its offering as part of its expansion and will extend its work throughout the continent.
Paul Foster, chief executive officer of Crucial Compliance, said:
“Many people may think stepping into Africa was a venture to the unknown. We analysed emerging trends showing that in popular culture. There can be unhealthy attitudes to gambling and we invested time and resources to explore Rwanda and South Africa.
“From our initial engagement, these countries are open to change in terms of industry attitudes and player protection. We are excited about the prospects of real change and working with local charities and operators in having a positive impact on the society. We will hold further Hackathon events in Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa in April. We shall invite anyone with an interest in reducing gambling related harm to come along and join the conversation.”