The South African gaming market is increasingly becoming the centre of attention for the global iGaming industry. We unpack a few of the biggest reasons why.
According to a report by multinational professional services brand PwC, revenues in the gambling market in South Africa are predicted to reach R35-billion in 2021 and enjoy compound annual increases of around 5.3%.
The Africa Gaming Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecasts report by ResearchAndMarkets is even more optimistic, predicting compound annual growth for the gaming industry of 12% between 2020 and 2025.
This is all excellent news for the region, and there are a couple of very good reasons for the positivity both locally and abroad.
South Africa’s position as one of the dominant economies in Africa and is the most technologically advanced is significant because the continent is the second largest on Earth and home to 1.3-billion people across 50 different and distinct countries.
The continent is also the only region in the world where the young population is increasing. It is predicted that by 2050 the number of people between the age of 0 and 24 years old will increase by around 50%, while simultaneously declining to some degree in every other region on Earth.
Within Africa, South Africa already boasts the most comprehensive gambling market and will naturally attract additional investment and support as the market leader on the continent.
While almost all African countries have some form of gaming laws, South Africa has the most robust and clear set of regulations. It was also the first country in Africa to create gambling laws.
In addition to this, legislators’ stance towards gaming in the country appears to be softening significantly as attempts to restrict and prevent online gambling have been delayed, postponed, and abandoned in recent years. Some politicians at the provincial level have even called for less restrictive regulations. One of the best examples of this new stance is online gambling.
Even though online games are prohibited in the country, there are still many online casinos based outside of South Africa legally registered to operate within the Rainbow Nation, such as Casino Cruise online casino. Reading up on resources like the Casino Cruise review, we can notice that the brand is part of a decent casino group, Genesis Global Limited, which operates under an MGA license.
While the potential of the South African iGaming market is positive, it is important for any operator hoping to make an impact on understanding the landscape they are entering into. The majority of Africa’s internet use is done via mobile phone; gaming operators will need to focus on mobile content.
Infrastructure has already been deployed in sub-Saharan Africa, allowing more than 70% of the population, around 80-million people, access to 3G coverage. Additionally, mobile gaming already makes up nearly half of all revenue generated by the gaming industry in Africa.
All indicators point towards it being a great time to be involved in iGaming in Africa and South Africa in particular.
In stark contrast to this new stance, over in Europe, regulation has been getting more restrictive in some markets. Along with tax hikes on gambling, the increasing regulation has decreased profit margins for many operators.
While it hasn’t been significant enough for them to abandon important markets like the United Kingdom completely, it has led to them looking for opportunities elsewhere.
When you combine the growth potential that a region like South Africa shows right now with significant operators looking for new opportunities, it results in very optimistic outlook reports like the ones mentioned above.