Online gambling market in Africa - An Overview

Clacified
By Clacified

Online gambling has been gaining traction in Africa; here is a look at some of the top African countries that wield significant influence in online gambling.

A typical casino gambling tool; poker, blackjack and dice.

 Although the African market only accounts for 1.1% of online gambling worldwide, it is a booming industry in the region. Africa is getting more and more attention from foreign investors and casino owners.

Gambling habits, rules, and regulations vary across 54 countries on the continent, and some of them even prohibit it. Let’s go over some of the major online gambling markets in Africa.

South Africa

When it comes to gambling, South Africa is the largest market on the continent. Its gross gaming revenue is projected to go over $2.3 billion by 2023. One of the factors contributing to this is that South Africa has the third-highest GDP on the continent.

Sports betting revenue makes up 24% of the gaming gross revenue in the country, and it is expected to double in the next five years.

It is also estimated that around half of adult South Africans engage in sports betting regularly. Besides football and horse racing, cricket, rugby, and golf are the most popular sports to bet on.

Despite the obvious growth of the gaming market, the country is faced with a ban on online casino games. The National Gambling Act of 2004 prohibits all online games of chance, including card games and slots.

This, nevertheless, stands for the operators, while players are free from any prohibition if they indulge in these kinds of games on the internet. 

Therefore, there are many out-of-state online casinos available for South African players. Based on the review given by PlayCasino, with its generous bonuses, various games, and payment options, Yeti Casino is one of the best options for SA players available on the internet.

Uganda

In 2016, the authorities in Uganda introduced a regulatory framework called the Lotteries and Gaming Act.

Although the law does not exactly apply to the online gambling industry, online sportsbooks are formally licensed by the National Gaming Board of the country.

Investors must obtain licenses from the Board. The fee for foreign casinos is $13,600, while sportsbooks pay a lower fee of around $5,500. Both fees are lower for local investors.

Gambling operators pay 20% tax on the gross gaming revenue, and they keep 15% of all players’ winnings.

Uganda’s gambling market has experienced an incredible boom in the last few decades, especially sports betting - Ugandans spend around $40 million on gambling every year.

South Africa is projected to rake in over 2.3 billion USD in gambling revenue by 2023.

Nigeria

Nigeria’s population of more than 200 million people is almost twice bigger than any other country in the region. It is no wonder that in 2019 it had the most extensive domestic product in Africa.

Being a powerful economic force on the continent, Nigeria has a large potential for online casino providers, and it is currently the second-largest gambling market in Africa.

Since the government decided to lift the gambling ban in 2004, people started embracing gambling more and more. 

It is approximated that 30% of Nigeria’s population bets on sports every day. Researchers estimate that Nigerians spend a total of $2 billion a year on sports betting.

European football is the most popular betting category, especially the British Premier League and the Spanish LaLiga.

Kenya

Although the government introduced the Gaming Bill in 2019 to regulate the online gambling market in Kenya, they also decided to introduce new taxation rules in the same year.

Namely, the local government threatened to add an extra 20% tax on stakes on top of the existing 15% tax on the gross gaming revenue.

Gambling licenses are issued by the Licensing Board and the Betting Control. Locals are charged around $4,200 for the application, while foreigners must pay almost double.

Kenyan online gambling market is still one of the largest in Africa, but the government’s attempts to rigorously control the industry took their toll.

Major industry players decided to leave Kenya, and the domestic GGR fell from $300 million to $175 million between 2018 and 2020.

Kenya’s gambling market is dominated by sports betting, just like in most of the continent. Approximately 7 million Kenyans use gambling services, and most of them are interested in football.

Ghana

After years of work, the Gaming Commission of Ghana created a comprehensive regulatory framework that established a welcoming environment for foreign operators.

Even though the Ghanian online gambling market is not as big as in some other African countries, it is considered one of the most stable when it comes to rules and legislation. The market’s size is significant, and it keeps expanding.

The prices of licenses issued by the Gaming Commission depend on the type of operation they stand for.

If the investor is looking to open a sportsbook, it will cost them around $40,0000, while the fee for casinos is $50,000. Besides paying for the licensing fees, the operators need to apply VAT as well.

Conclusion

As countries are trying to create proper regulations across the continent, the African online gambling market is getting attention from foreign investors.

Africa is home to millions of sports enthusiasts, and with the rise of their GDP and more stable internet access, the online gambling market is expected to keep growing.

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