South African Gambling Outlook

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by George Abebe
| 25/04/2021
South African Gambling Outlook

Gambling has come a long way in Africa compared to the past state of things from a few years ago. One fine example we could mention here is the presence of Africa on the ICE Totally Gaming yearly rota. The event is one of the most popular gathering spots and idea exchanging forums for people passionate about keeping up with the gaming industry in the United States and the European continent. Without a doubt, Africa's presence on the same list with other big actors in the industry is a more than positive thing and a firm indicator of the status that African gaming, including online casinos, is shaping as we speak. We believe that it is safe to say that the African continent will become the next gambling hub in the region in the upcoming years especially as there is a growth in digital development in Africa.

While not all African countries may evolve at the same pace and time, the presence of more and more powerful and dedicated gaming companies here is giving all of them a fair chance to grow. During the last ICE event, more than 60% of all operators were African and belonged to more than two dozens countries on the continent, including South Africa. Let us take a look at a few of the most prominent ideas that could be mentioned with special regards to South Africa at the moment.

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The Gambling Culture Is Changing: Staying In The Moment

Known for having the youngest population on the globe, Africa has a median age of little over 19, according to information on the Worldometers site. The African population also represents close to 17% of the total population on the planet. This would make them an excellent market for the gambling industry to penetrate even further. The Sub-Saharan part of the continent now counts more than 420 million unique mobile users and, at the end of 2020, the estimates speak of 500 million users. This would make Africa the quickest growing market for mobile users and developers on the planet. There are also close to 200 million connections on smartphones available here, which is an impressive number similar to the one on the American continent. 

Lots of African players with special emphasis on real money casino players in South Africa, enjoy coming across mobile payment solutions when doing their gambling online. More than one hundred million active mobile money accounts are currently in use in Africa at the moment. These services are in use by one out of every ten adults. Compared to South Asia, another gambling hub recognised worldwide, the numbers are bigger and there is no denying that we are witnessing a powerful shift in Africa. 

We can expect a number of essential collaborations between Asian, European, and American companies looking to penetrate greater markets and take advantage of more new opportunities in the industry, following the lead of the latest technology advancement and releases. noted that "accounts for more than 80 per cent of the entire gambling industry in the continent." They went on to say that South Africa carefully regulates and licenses online and land-based casinos. With so many young people enjoying the connectivity of a smartphone the next step is developing apps to further increase market engagement and enhance the online gambling experience.

Influence Of The Retail Culture

At the moment, the sports and casino wagering culture on the continent in general and in South Africa, in particular, is influenced by various retail aspects. Technological changes are prone to speed up the changes, while these cultural aspects deeply rooted in the histories of countries can do the exact opposite. Casino gambling online basically means handing over virtual money that s not palpable to a virtual cashier that you will not get to tall to face to face. Lots of players are still looking for this type of reassurance provided by interaction with a human being, especially when it comes to making a casino win and wanting to cash it out.

We can expect this particular aspect of the industry to soon change. While the retail industry will continue to exercise its power domination over the African countries in the upcoming years, the introduction of the ICE event is expected to change the winds into the online direction.

More and more people have started to express their interest concerning mobile forms of wagering via mobile casinos and SportPesa is one example of a platform that allows you to register your membership using a valid phone number that you will also use as a username. All bets can be placed straight on a mobile phone and there are lots of mobile sports betting sites and casinos that allow players to do their betting on the go and use mobile payments to access their preferred games.

Many Complexities Of The African Continent

South Africa in particular and the African continent in general come with some unique particularities and complexities that make them more difficult to access when it comes to international companies and businesses. More often than not, these companies are going to try to create powerful ties with domestic businesses, with special attention given to the so-called white labelled products.

With hundreds of different dialects and cultural differences to consider, local partners do sound like the safest bets when trying to enter these markets. 2018 data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development speak about Africa's GDP tripling since the year 2000, recording an impressive growth of 4.6 percentile points a year, which is a lot higher compared to other parts of the world. Plus, the geographical and language differences together with the prohibitions in terms of games of chance in various states on the African continent are also contributing to the current growth direction. It is safe to say that we should expect some spectacular changes in terms of online gambling legislation, with emphasis on South Africa.

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