Africa’s gaming market has grown a lot thanks to the widespread availability and use of smartphones across the continent. A study commissioned by Newzoo and Carry1st found that the number of gamers in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 77 million in 2015 to 186 million in 2021. All kinds of games are popular in Africa, including online gambling, otherwise known as iGaming.
Online Gambling In Africa
There’s no doubt that the spread of cell phones has boosted the growth of online gambling in Africa. The continent has become like other parts of the world, where people use their cell phones to conduct many aspects of daily life. Africa has something in common with North America and Europe, where iGaming is well established. Online gambling has soared in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. The online market provides flexibility and versatility by offering gamblers in these countries traditional table games, hybrid games, and even games based on popular TV shows.
For example, people in the UK can play Deal or No Deal online through casino platforms like Paddy Power. This high RTP slot game in which players try to beat the banker is based on a television gameshow called Deal or No Deal. The iconic television franchise first aired in the Netherlands, became a hit in Britain, and spread around the world. In 2007, M-Net launched a version of Deal or No Deal in South Africa, hosted by radio personality Ed Jordan.
That said, even though iGaming is growing in sub-Saharan Africa, the continent’s market still has lots of room to expand. The study mentioned above found that among the 186 million online gamers in 2021, 177 million played on their cell phones. In 2022, Africa’s population was over 1.4 billion and not everyone has cell phones yet. Research shows that at the end of 2020, 46% of people in sub-Saharan Africa were cell phone service subscribers. These figures demonstrate there is plenty of space for the market to grow.
Online Gaming Can Expand in Africa
Fortunately, there are many ways that online casino operators in African countries can expand the market. For instance, launching more live casino games will appeal to people who enjoy traditional casino games in the offline world. Live casino games allow gamblers to see and interact with a live dealer in real-time through a chat box and monitor. This helps mimic the atmosphere of a land-based casino or betting shop.
Similarly, to deal with a lack of familiarity with technology among older generations, online casino operators across the continent could start offering features such as placing wagers by SMS. This would appeal to anyone who only uses cell phone devices to send text messages. SMS betting could be a solution for people who aren’t yet used to the colorful interactive interfaces on iGaming platforms.
It can certainly be said that the continent’s online gambling market has grown at an incredible rate in recent times due to cell phone adoption and the spread of access to the internet. It will be very exciting to see what happens for the continent’s iGamers in the next few years.