BetGames, BtoBet, Kiron Interactive and Sportingtech specialists highlight the prospects and investment required to make potential a reality.
What sports are popular in Africa for sports betting? Is it more local, national, or global?
Aiste Garneviciene: Horse racing and football, both local and international, are very popular. Cricket and rugby are popular sports in Africa, especially in South and West Africa, where British culture still lingers. In terms of percentage, I’d say it’s usually about equal, with large events driving participants to smaller ones.
Mr. Fried: Africans are known to be enthusiastic football supporters who follow the numerous African footballers that play for the top European teams. Football betting is the most popular and widely diffused kind of sports betting. The English Premier League, Primera, Serie A, and UEFA Champions League are all immensely popular. Local sports also generate a lot of interest, therefore operators should be able to provide a personalized content portfolio that matches local tastes.
Football is the most popular sport, followed by horse and greyhound racing. Cricket and rugby are popular sports bets in South Africa, however it depends on the country’s tradition. The more north you go, the more football. The Premier League is the most popular European football league. The Spanish, Italian, French, and German leagues are also popular. Operators wanting to lead their areas must ensure that the proper markets are supplied on the most popular sports. Localization is crucial in virtuals and igaming. Keno and Spin and Win have also grown in popularity.
Luis de Prat: All major European football leagues are popular to African bettors (e.g. Secondary sports like tennis and basketball are gaining popularity, as are African football leagues like Egypt and Nigeria.
How can IT infrastructure keep up with demand?
Garneviciene: Africa is a big continent, and when discussing digital infrastructure, it’s crucial to distinguish across countries, since some are much more developed than others. Due to its advanced development, South Africa is our most important operating market. Internet penetration in Africa varies from over 50% in the south to 10% in the center. Even inside South Africa, there remain challenges, since certain places still lack internet access, and the usage of contemporary cellphones varies widely. Payment mechanisms and mobile data bundles remain key obstacles. The availability of your items in the market will be determined by the internet, payments, and handset types. Africa’s lack of trained and experienced employees is a long-standing issue and one of the primary reasons why it has a long way to go, but given its rapid development in the previous five years, we can safely state enormous progress has been done, making it one of the world’s most enticing growth possibilities. As a result of the epidemic, several organizations hastened their digital preparations and swiftly transferred their activities online as part of their backup and recovery strategy.
Mr. Fried: Africa has a distinct technical background. The continent’s characteristics – internet penetration, mobile subscriptions, and even mobile internet pricing – are unlike those of more established economies. So, for example, a European operator or supplier cannot thrive in Africa using the same technique. Despite the population’s preference for smartphones over desktops, the growing mobile phone ecosystem in Africa requires vendors to take a technical step back. However, feature phones are still widely used, necessitating a technology solution that is adaptable to local realities. Aside from antiquated gear, slower internet connections necessitate the usage of low data-intensive programs, which reach locations in Africa with data and bandwidth limits. Even as the continent’s technology infrastructure improves and local residents get better devices and quicker internet connection, carriers must continue push out lighter goods that work on any basic browser.
Steven Spartinos: Where mobile bandwidth is scarce and costly, virtual providers alter their technologies to offer lighter items. The same goes for content, with operators needing specialized portfolios to match local player interests. A major investment in new games and formats is required. Operators and investors are focusing on increasing 4G adoption while progressively introducing 5G, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Luis de Prat: The gaming industry has been able to keep up with demand thanks to huge advances in mobile technological infrastructure.
Can you share some growth estimates for places that are growing and areas where development is slowed by difficult-to-change laws or regulations?
Aiste Garneviciene: The prevalence of strong and adequate internet networks, both to households through landlines and mobile, is clearly expanding. Cash is king, thus digital payment systems are huge roadblocks. Lack of proper computer knowledge, job prospects in digital firms, and investment in basic, dependable power supply to prevent recurring outages are also concerns.
By 2025, the local sector is expected to more than double its 2019 GGR ($319.9m) to $675.1m, according to H2 Gambling Capital. While South Africa has by far the biggest gaming industry and the only one that can really compete with Europe’s regulated markets, it has progressed slowly than other African countries. One may also argue that the existing regulatory system, which restricts internet gaming, prevents the nation from reaching its full potential. The National Gambling Board predicts that the casino sector’s contribution to GGR would rise from R18.4 billion (approximately €1.04 billion) in 2018 to R22.6 billion (roughly €1.3 billion) in 2023. However, given the popularity of the casino industry and its market share, this is a cautious increase (66.4 percent in 2017).
Spartinos: Online gaming has grown the fastest since the epidemic began, with some operators doubling their annual revenue. Worldwide, but most notably in Italy, Latin America, and Africa. Concerning legislative issues, we must operate inside regulated marketplaces. Regions with stringent restrictions might halt a vertical’s advancement. Overall, new games and verticals are being adopted at a slower rate, but each company can counteract this with smart marketing and promotions, and by making their products and rollouts as engaging as possible.
Luis Prat Africa is a place of chance. Technology and local businesses that view internet gambling as the future of gaming are overcoming the challenges of legal uncertainty and payment systems. With Nigeria, Tanzania, and most recently Angola’s regulated market, it’s simple to see how Africa might be a major source of income for providers and foreign operators. The problem is for suppliers to grasp the nuances of each market.