South Africa Continues to Dominate African Online Sports Betting, but Other Markets Are in Hot Pursuit
Online sports gambling is growing rapidly in South Africa, and the nation is now the dominant force in the African market. More than 80% of online sports betting revenue generated by Africa is provided by its southernmost country, as South Africa targets a seat at the top table of global wagering.
This growth plan makes sense for South Africa. It is estimated that the world’s online sports gambling market will surpass $237.2 billion in 2027, and the government of SA understandably wants to secure its own portion of this reward. However, the country is far from alone in the African market. As online sports betting in South Africa goes from strength to strength, which other markets represent potential rivals?
Nigeria boasts the biggest economy in Africa, and it is also one of the most populated African states, resulting in a per capita GDP of just under $5,200 in 2020. There is a significant potential market for online sports betting in Nigeria, and the nation should be able to rival South Africa in terms of revenue generated from the market.
So why is Nigeria still an emerging market, and not yet a rival to South Africa? This is down in part to the status of online casino gambling. While many forms of betting – both physical and digital – are regulated in Nigeria, online casinos are still technically illegal and unregulated. Currently, this makes it difficult for Nigeria to compete toe-to-toe with South Africa in the wider gambling market, something that also negatively impacts on sports betting providers.
Kenya’s per capita GDP is slightly smaller than Nigeria’s, and Nigeria’s population is four times greater than Kenya’s. Despite this, Kenya is still an important market in the ongoing development of online sports gambling in Africa. This is because Kenya’s population is already engaged with the industry, although options are limited.
Currently, all gambling is monopolized by BetKenya, and it is not possible for competitors to gain a license in the country. If this approach changes, Kenya could find itself hot on the heels of South Africa in the pursuit of continental market dominance.
The Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean is one of Africa’s smallest nations, and yet it is one of the most interesting online sports betting propositions in Africa. There are two reasons for this. The first is that Seychelles has an enormous per capita GDP that dwarfs its competitors, and it is the only African country with a per capita GDP of more than $30,000.
The second is that Seychelles already regulates online sports gambling, providing a readymade market and foundation to providers seeking to invest in Africa. There is a caveat to this, however – an organization with a base in the country must held the gambling license. Despite the restriction, there is still plenty of scope for investment here.
While the Seychelles population is relatively small, the active tourist industry and gambling license possibilities make the country an attractive option for investment. The country may be too small to represent a genuine continental rival to South Africa in this industry, but it is likely to be a key player in Africa in the future.
South Africa Looks Likely to Remain Top of the Pile, but Online Sports Betting in Africa Is Growing More Diverse
Realistically, South Africa is well ahead of the pack when it comes to online sports betting, and it looks likely to retain this position. However, things are certainly changing on the continent, and we can expect other major players to emerge in the coming years.