Many African nations have adopted new technologies in the recent past. The number of people who can access the internet has soared of late. It has improved communication and enabled gamers to wager and play various online casino games. East African countries like Kenya have efficient mobile money services that allow users to send and receive money from anywhere. In this article, we discuss East Africa’s rapidly growing iGaming industry.
Sports Betting is Rampant in East Africa
Outdoor sports like athletics, basketball, football, hockey, rugby, and volleyball are popular in East Africa. Football has millions of fans in the region. Research and Report, a Dublin research firm discovered in research that more millennials are regular sports bettors. Most of them place bets on phones and desktops. Uganda and Kenya are among the leading African nations in sports and casino betting. Many East African pundits play live casino games and win huge payouts.
Gambling Laws and Regulations in the Region
Compared to South Africa, East African nations have lenient gambling laws. Last year, the Kenyan government introduced new tax laws for all sportsbooks. It required them to pay 20 percent of the stake gamblers place and an extra 20 percent tax on their winnings.
The new laws adversely affected the operations of betting platforms, the leading betting firms in the country. They ceased their operations in August. Betting companies management has held many discussions with the Kenyan Betting Control and Licensing Board. The firm is expected to resume operations soon.
Leading mobile service providers like Airtel and Safaricom have efficient mobile money services, Airtel Money and M-Pesa. They have partnered with many bookies to allow punters to make instant deposits and withdrawals. This provides gamblers an enjoyable gambling experience as they are assured of the safety of their money.
East Africa’s Share in Africa’s iGaming Industry
Many gamblers consider the betting markets and payment platforms available when choosing bookies. East Africa has the best payment gateways on the continent. Punters in the region can transact through mobile money and they don’t need to have active bank accounts.
East Africa has the highest working mobile money accounts, registered per capita, and mobile money transactions. Today, the number of active mobile money accounts is higher than that of bank accounts. This trend has continued since 2010. In the past, the region lagged in financial infrastructure. But, the gradual drop in mobile phone prices helped more people buy smartphones.
For instance, if we compare Nigeria and Kenya, about 73 percent of citizens above 15 years have an active mobile account and 56 percent of them have a bank account. In Nigeria, 5.6 percent of people within the same age bracket have mobile money accounts while 39 percent of them have bank accounts.
Increased mobile connection and reliable mobile money services are the leading factors that have promoted the growth of East Africa’s online gambling industry. Several popular bookmakers have ventured into the local market. They offer a variety of betting options and the latest casino games. Besides, the region has lenient gambling regulations that allow local and foreign bookies to operate.