Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East are the regions with the largest revenues for iGaming operators today.
Africa is the smallest, with just 1 per cent of the global GGR in 2020. But it is also the one with the fastest growth potential thanks to its rapid digitalization and the rise of the middle class in many countries.
There are still large unbanked populations in many African countries that, thanks to the spread of mobile money services in recent years, gain an entry point to online betting thanks to it.
International operators like Betway, the leading online sports betting platform in Nigeria, have entered the African market with its digital infrastructure already in place.
Betway has experience of more than a decade in offering sports betting and iGaming services to its customers – it was founded in 2006 – and has sponsorship deals in place with teams covering sports and eSports.
The fragmented nature of the payments and the penetration of the internet across African markets has made it slower for punters and players to transition to digital platforms, though – but this may change in the near future.
The share of online sports betting was very small in the early 2010s – in 2012, it was barely worth mentioning. The development of internet infrastructure, as well as the spread of mobile money solutions (and the emergence of fintech companies offering alternative payment solutions to many unbanked citizens), has helped digital betting become a viable alternative.
Until last year, Nigeria has been behind the curve of mobile money acceptance – a favourable central bank ruling in 2018, in turn, has given a boost to this segment and helped attract foreign investors into the industry.
This, along with the increasing trust in gambling online, has helped Nigeria catch up with many other markets in the adoption of iGaming products. The GGR generated by digital betting has continuously grown over the years, even if land-based betting has remained dominant.
In the past decade, online sports betting has grown fast in Nigeria, and this will continue in the near future.
Overall, Nigeria’s betting market is expected to reach $675 million by 2025 (estimates by H2 Gaming Capital), with digital playing an ever-increasing role.
A challenging market
The digital channel may not be leading in Africa right now – but times are changing. This year, it will be responsible for an estimated 23 per cent of the entire continent’s GGR.
In time, the easy and convenient access not just to payment solutions but high-quality online betting options designed to appeal to an ever-growing number of people will drive this percentage further. And the market itself is expected to continue growing: according to predictions made by H2 Gambling Capital, Africa’s sports betting GGR is expected to almost double by 2025.
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