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Development of Gambling Industry in Africa

Filed under: Entertainment,Latest News |

It is a common thought that most people who reside in Africa are living in poverty. With 54 countries on the continent, many people are, in fact, affected by poverty. Still, experts also believe that some countries have a great potential to become leading markets in the gambling industry. When it comes to legal gambling in Africa, each country has the ability to regulate the industry and decide whether it is legal for residents to engage in gambling activities.

In many African regions, there are no set laws on gambling, or regulations are not clear. The majority of countries support gambling, and there are just a few regions that do not allow it. As for the industry as a whole, the largest gambling markets in Africa are Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. Over the years, these areas have developed gambling laws and provided legal access to land and online casinos.

Read on to learn more about the regulations in Africa and how gambling has evolved over the years.

Gambling Markets in Africa

South Africa is the largest gambling market in Africa, and it is expected the Gross Gaming Revenue by the end of this year will reach $2.5 billion. In this country, some forms of gambling are 100% legal. Residents can engage in horse racing and online sports betting as well as play casino games at land-based venues. Land casinos have been allowed to operate in South Africa since 1994, and there are four major casinos that can be accessed. The country has a total of 47 licensed casinos, though many are small venues with limited games and betting options.

All operating casinos in this area are overseen by The National Gaming Board. South Africa offers exciting slots, card, and table games, and more at these top-rated African land casinos:

  • Sun City Resort
  • The Montecasino
  • Golden Reef
  • Emerald Casino

Nigeria is one of the most populated countries on the continent, and there are more than 200 million residents. The gambling sector is also quite large, and the country has great potential for online casino providers. When a gambling ban was lifted by the government in 2004, the industry soared. Based on a study conducted in 2014, more than 30% of people in Nigeria bet on sports daily, and an average of $5.4 million in bets are being placed. The Federal Palace Hotel and Casino is the largest operating land-based casino in Nigeria. It is located on Victoria Island and offers a modern casino experience with over 120 slots and any table games. Nigeria offers 3 operating gambling venues.

Kenya allows most forms of gambling through online casinos, which are slowly emerging because of poor mobile Internet connectivity in the country. However, the average gambling revenue growth in 2018 was 6.8%, indicating that more and more people are engaging in betting activities. In addition, Kenya is home to Golden Key Casino, offering games for all players and some exciting entrainment along with top dining venues.

You can find 13 casinos in Kenya, making this a great gambling destination in the future. For now, the State Department does not advise traveling to Kenya for gambling due to active terror groups. Gambling in Kenya has been allowed since the passing of the Betting, Lotteries, and Gaming Act of 1966.

Morocco is another location where gambling is legal, and there are 8 modern casino resorts located here, including the popular Mazagan Resort and Casino located in Casablanca and the Movenpick Hotel and Casino in Tangier. Gambling in Morocco was made legal in 2002, and a national lottery has been supervised by the Moroccan government since 1972.

Most Popular Casino Games In Africa

With many countries offering legal casinos and online gambling, residents of Africa have the ability to partake in some amazing games. Each land-based gambling venue and operating online casino will have something different to offer. When Africans are looking to gamble, they seek out certain games. It is important for casino operators looking to enter the industry to know what games African players most commonly choose and to ensure these games are offered at all times.

When it comes to casino game popularity, bingo may not be your first thought, but this is one of the most played games in Africa. It is a simple game to play and can yield some great payouts. Many African gamblers will find casinos that offer a bingo room or find online sites that feature various bingo variations like 95-ball and 75-ball games.

Poker is also a top choice in Africa, and players have been enjoying this card game at top land casinos like Emperors Palace. Some of the preferred poker variations include Three Card Poker, Texas Hold’Em Poker, and Omaha Poker.

African gamblers also love the thrills of slots but are often drawn to progressive games. Almost every casino resort in Africa will have a great assortment of progressive games, which is also true when playing online. These games offer massive payouts, and many Africans are seeking the chance to win the most money since they do not have to pay taxes on winnings.

Roulette is another top choice in Africa. This game can be found at many operating land venues and is one thing players look for at online casinos. Most African gamblers will prefer European roulette over the other versions that can be found online. European Roulette is featured at most land casinos in different African countries and is one of the most played table games.

Where Online Gambling is Allowed

Online gambling has become quite popular in Africa, and you can find a great secure online casino where you can enjoy access to real money games from the comforts of home. Online gambling did not become popular until recently because the continent did not have access to supporting technology. However, since the late 2000s, more people have had access to the internet as well as mobile devices, so online casinos started to emerge and flourish. More than 30% of African residents now engage in online gambling.

Each country regulates online gambling, and since it was not feasible for a number of years, no proper regulators were created. Some countries like Ghana have a Gambling Act, but it does not have any provisions for online gambling. At this time, there are limited countries where online gambling has been legalized. These include South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Mauritius. These countries have regulations in place to provide safe and secure access to online slots.

Nigerian residents are completely free to play at any licensed online casino without violating any laws. Since there are no regulations in place, gambling sites that operate in this market will not have to pay taxes, which is appealing to emerging casino establishments. Online gambling is also developing at a rapid pace in South Africa, an area that is already home to thousands of avid gamblers who visit the many operating land casinos.

There are some other countries that do not have specific laws for online gambling, but they have not banned it. This means that residents from these areas are able to access an operating site and engage in real money play with no consequence. These countries include Zambia, Ghana, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola.

African Legislation vs American and European

In Africa, gambling laws are not always clear. Each country will belong to one group: Banned, Legal, or Unregulated. In many cases, a country will belong to one of these groups due to religious beliefs. There have been two major changes in African laws pertaining to gambling. It happened in 1996 and 2004 after the introduction of the Gambling Acts. The 1996 Act allowed for legal gambling on lotteries and sports. The 2004 Act placed an embargo on online casinos. Online betting sites can offer services if they have a license and pay levies. All players who engage in betting in Africa are not required to pay taxes on winnings since this is not considered a source of income.

The gambling legislation in Africa is quite similar to that of American areas. In the US, each individual state has the ability to legalize gambling, both online and offline. Over the past few years, many states have started to allow players to engage in online betting at operating sportsbooks and casinos in America. In Africa, each country can set its own legislation and rules about gambling.

There is also a similar type of legislation in Europe. Some countries will prohibit gambling completely, while others will only allow poker games or casinos. African laws often mimic those of the US and Europe since these have worked well for both locations. As more people start engaging in wagering and mobile technology advances in Africa, you will see countries starting to alter current legislation to legalize access to online betting sites as a way to generate revenue, especially in areas that have higher poverty levels.

Growth Continues

A report recently released noted that many African countries already have gambling commissions and specific laws that will regulate different forms of gambling, with South Africa being the one with the clearest laws and regulations. South Africa was the first country in Africa to create gambling regulations and added laws for online gambling.

Many attempts have been made to restrict online gambling and any payments to unlicensed operators in the past. These attempts have almost always been delayed or postpones. There is a huge potential in regards to revenue when it comes to gambling anywhere in Africa. Industry statistics forecast that the industry will grow 12% between 2020 and 2025. This growth will be due to emerging trends, including the availability of mobile devices and faster internet speeds.

There will also be a surge in the mobile market, and more people in Africa will have access to the latest technology. In North Africa, there are more than 290 million residents using mobile devices, and the mobile gambling market in that area generates over $90 billion each year.

Future of Gaming in Africa

The gambling industry throughout Africa has enjoyed growing at a steady pace over the past few years. Based on information from experts, gambling has the potential to change the economy for the entire continent in the long term. Many of the top iGaming companies operating see Africa as a great option for expansion. Since most residents already have a love for sports betting, sites that offer the ability to wager on sports will be welcomed into Africa in the coming months and years.

Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling in Africa, and residents are accessing online betting sites daily. With most of these operating offshore, the market in Africa is rather limited. Most African bettors will be looking to place wagers on soccer and horse racing, both of which are supported by major operators. When these operators enter the African market, they can expect a large customer base.

In the future, online betting will become more popular in Africa due to the growing young population. More than 200 million people in Africa are between the ages of 18 and 24, which is a target age for most online operators. Gambling is also an incentive for those that have low-paying jobs. With unemployment rates still rising in Africa, gambling provides a way to earn some extra income, which is quite important to Africans at this time.

Africa is a very attractive region for online casino operators. With more than 60% of residents being younger than 25, gambling is a popular pastime. With Africans being fond of many sports and enjoy a variety of casino games, the betting industry could have a great future.


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