- Phone Use Across Africa - Is this the new way to access online casino sites?
- Legislation Across the Continent - Operators beware, laws vary across this land mass.
- What's Next for the African Market - Forecasting where this trend will lead.
The African market is becoming ever more hotly explored by casino operators, as the numbers continue to grow. Africans in general are more ready and able to enjoy these games, with companies ready to capitalise on this. However, there are some pitfalls for operators seeking to branch into this market, as it's so varied.
The Facts and Figures
The growth in the African market has been staggering within the last few short years. At the end of 2017, the market was worth R28 billion ($2.01 billion) which was up from the R26 billion ($1.93 billion) generated in 2016. Industry experts are forecasting 5% increases in the market year on year until at least 2021.
In particular, South Africa is a large area for growth as citizens here hope to use their new technology and improved infrastructure to play online. This has increased the number of potential players substantially, with more access to the online world. Games like bingo have seen the largest uplift in these areas, as they prove popular with the locals.
These games have been gaining notoriety in this region. This has resulted in many global casino operators and brands using this nation as a means to expand. This is a rapidly growing market for international brands that want to target a new audience. As they begin to expand into this area, it stimulates more growth, as the consumer has more to choose from.
Events and training days are also moving to this area, as there's more demand for workers to upskill. This has a positive effect on the economy of the area too. As more casino operators need the language and cultural skills required to translate and run these sites, they will naturally turn to the public.
Phone Use Across Africa
Part of the boom in these online casino sites comes from the fact that internet enabled phones are becoming more readily available. This allows mobile casinos to thrive, as they can be accessed more readily in this market. While some of these areas don't have reliable connections to electricity, mobile phones are still permeating the market. For some, this may mean they take their mobile phone to a more reliable connection point in order to charge it.
This market is growing quickly, as more Africans want to use this technology. They want equal access to this share of the internet. Chinese manufactured phones are imported in increasingly high volumes to this continent. Their low cost and relatively quick means of importing to the country means that they are more accessible to those in the developing world.
Legislation Across the Continent
As Africa is such a large continent, casino operators must understand the legislation, culture and languages of each of the countries therein to effectively market their product. This can represent a significant investment for a casino operator, as they must ensure that they are compliant at all times. Leading global online casino brands are ever expanding into new markets, like America. These massive continents can pose something of a legislative nightmares during expansion, as there are many different regulations to follow.
There are some areas in the continent in which online gambling is entirely illegal and others in which these laws don't tend to be enforced. This can be tricky for online casino operators to navigate, as they don't want to be prosecuted or fined during the tentative expansion stage. Morocco is one of the most lax nations in Africa when it comes to online casino gambling, with more of these countries becoming more accepting as time goes on.
Within the Arab nations that fall within this continent, there's little to no leeway when it comes to gambling. Egypt, for example, has no legalised internet betting structure at all. Residents of this country also can't gamble in land based casinos in Egypt, as passports have to be shown to gain entry and only foreign nationals are allowed to bet.
There are many popular land based casinos in Africa, including:
- Gold Reef City, Johannesburg
- Sun Coast Casino and Entertainment World, Durban
- The Boardwalk Casino, Port Elizabeth
What's Next for the African Market?
The African market is growing at an exponential rate but this will eventually even out. Right now, the market is primed for new brands and this will lead to an influx of newcomers to the scene. However, this can only last for so long as they will eventually oversaturate the market. This will then lead to a similar market that exists in the UK, where brands must overachieve in order to stand out.
Technology available in these areas will continue to become cheaper and more accessible as time goes on. As the infrastructure for internet and power is also improved, this will make the world of online gambling more available to those in the continent.
Different countries will no doubt progress at different rates with this technology, which will lead to more challenges for operators.
This does appear to be the market to be targeting for operators and affiliates, especially when compared to the somewhat stagnant market of the UK. We're likely to see more growth and a larger economic impact from online gambling as time goes on. This may also prompt legislative review in the future.
About Article Author