A look at the Casino Industry in Africa

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Across the continent, gambling is a generally underdeveloped industry with little to none or outdated regulation. There aren’t many land-based casinos here, and the most popular form of gambling across the continent is by far sports betting, with the exception of South Africa, where lotteries are particularly popular.

 

While the lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework has traditionally acted as a deterrent to heavy investment in the gambling market, this might be changing. In South Africa, the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 made interactive gambling legal and lay down prerequisites for the regulation of the market. According to the National Gambling Board, by 2018, a ‘total number of 38 casinos (out of a maximum of 41 licenses) were operational in South Africa’. The country constitutes the biggest gambling market in Africa, accounting for more than 90% of the market in all of sub-Saharan Africa and it is expected to reach €2.3bn by 2021.

 

Technological advances might provide unexpected opportunities for this industry. The internet penetration is improving due to the increased access to affordable smartphones across Africa, which means that online gambling is becoming more popular and more profitable to invest in. There are regulated and trusted online gaming sites available, like for example a South African Online Casino Site Playcasino.co.za, with online and mobile casinos that accept the South African Rand (ZAR).

 

The reach of the gambling market in other countries may not be as extensive as in South Africa, but there are some positive examples out there. Morocco provides and regulates a platform for online sports betting, while Botswana offers a well-regulated and functioning gambling industry as well as licensed online casinos.

 

Legalising and regulating gambling across one of the poorest continents like Africa is sure to come with moral issues, as lawmakers consider welcoming gambling on the continent that’s trying to catch up with the rest of the world economically. However, doing this might be better than the alternative as it will help ensure greater customer safety.

 

Regulated casinos

 

Regulation of gambling and online gambling is a way to protect customers from dishonest providers, who are weeded out when the casino is approved for an official license. Regulating this market also has the knock-on effect of ensuring that customers have rights and can make complaints should they feel like they have been treated unfairly.

 

It also encourages the creation of professional help services and makes it socially acceptable for players to look for help should they think that they have a gambling problem and provides players with tools for managing their gambling activity. What’s more, people may be more receptive to education about the potential risks associated with gambling when it doesn’t take the form of scaremongering.

Regulatory bodies like the National Gambling Board ensure data security, fair gaming, player funds separation, and operator accountability, which means that players can enjoy the full benefits of their chosen form of entertainment in a secure environment. Currently, the National Gambling Board supervises and regulates 40 gambling licenses in South Africa.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31