Much of the sports betting industry’s attention has been fixed firmly on North America for most of 2021. But Africa, too, has become a major talking point.
In South Africa alone, sports betting revenue exceeded $600 million in 2021. This is a growth trajectory that was seen all over the African continent.
The booming growth has led to several big-money mergers and acquisitions. Notably, MultiChoice’s acquired an increased stake in sports betting giant BetKing for $280 million. Also to be noted is WSB’s acquisition of iDiski TV (the value of which has not been made public).
The market’s enormous recent growth and expansion is the result of several factors and trends. And according to Chalkline CEO Daniel Kustelski, three of these trends continue to stand out from the rest.
The Digital Revolution
Not surprisingly, the rise of the digital revolution is the single biggest impacting factor on betting and gaming on the continent. Telecommunications has come a long way in Africa.
Today, mobile service providers can provide a better, more affordable internet-connected service than ever.
Part of this digital revolution has been a rise in smartphone availability and affordability. This means more people than ever before have the tools to access sportsbooks online. As well as from their mobile devices.
More Operators – More Action
Operators are now present all over Africa in a variety of gaming and sports betting markets. An increasing number of providers are also starting to grow their presence locally and in many more regions and countries.
Previously, it had only been the biggest and most prominent European operators seen covering multiple regions. These include names like Editecs and Betway. Now, we’re seeing more and more “smaller” bookmakers expanding their footprint.
One such example would be Kenyan bookmaker Odibets. They first expanded into Ghana and are now a prominent force in South Africa as well.
Another has been Tanzania-headquartered Bingwabet. The brand recently secured an operating license for Mozambique too.
An Increase in New Products
Another huge factor in terms of customer engagement and overall growth has been the influx of new products throughout online betting sites in Africa. These are focused 100% on mobile users.
Examples of this include Kiron Interactive for the big debut of their virtual sports game in South Africa. Marshalls also launched Eguzi’s much anticipated live casino games. Additionally, Hollywoodbets began offering Evolution live casino content to its customers for the first time.
What to Expect Next
Given everything we’ve seen in 2021, Kustelski said he expects the mobile betting and gaming market to expand on an even larger scale in 2022.
Africa truly is and remains the place to be right now.