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Comparing The African Sports Betting Market To Asia

In light of the television commercials that portray the African continent as a place of extreme poverty, you might be surprised at how big the gambling industry has grown. Not that betting and wagering hasn’t been around for hundreds of years, but sports betting has become one of the fastest-growing industries in Africa. However, it has only begun to catch up to continents like Asia or countries like Ireland.

The History of African Gambling

Gambling is a thrill for people all over the world, but now, it has become a billion-dollar industry[1] for countries whether it has been legalized or not. The middle of the 20th century found more government intervention in the activity, hoping to gain from the momentum through taxation or licensing fees. The rapid growth of the market has experts calming that the global economy will be positively impacted by a more accepting approach to gambling. For African countries, there is speculation that more peaceful relations between neighboring countries ma be possible if a more continental establishment was able to establish norms for the sports betting in divisive regions. Currently, the most popular sports betting in Africa takes place over hose racing and football. Horse racing was introduced in the 15th century by the Ottoman Empire and legalized in 1965. Betting on football has been happening for over seven decades, perhaps since it is the most popular sport on the continent. In 2018, over $40 billion was spent on the market. South Africa was projected to see more the $460 million by the end of 2019.

Related: Sports Betting In Africa – An Industry At Growth[2]

The General Factors of Growth and Engagement

The entire continent reveals the popularity of sports betting, though many Africans are using offshore sites to place their bets. Because of this interest, more foreign operators are looking into putting in more local establishments. However, there will still be a huge expansion of virtual national bookies in the next few years. Though it is exploding, the industry as a whole is underdeveloped. Africans love sports, whether rugby, cricket, FIFA, and even regional African teams. The continent is saturated with a young population, with more than 200 million falling between the ages of 18-24. With their ability to used smartphones and high tech devices, many of these individuals use wagers as a means of earning some type of income. As the demographic will continue to grow, other countries will see the investment opportunities. For this reason, experts feel Africa is just starting out[3] in their journey to being a sports betting paradise.

How Africa Measures Up

When comparing the African trends to countries and sports betting markets around the world, it would seem that they are on track to become highly competitive. Asia has one of the largest sports betting markets in the word, but with sports betting for Filipinos[4] being a part of the country’s culture. Because of the volume of active betting taking places across the regions on Thailand, Hong Kon, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the booming industry provides higher stakes and odds and betting options that are more lucrative than those on other continents. The interest in sports betting comprises a number of sports, including football, tennis, basketball, volleyball, handball, though football takes the lead for the most popular sport to put a wager on. This is partially because of the different sportsbooks, such as PAGCOR[5], have dozens of different league opportunities for the sport. Not only that, but the online bookmakers in Asia have opened the door to sports betting on smartphones and in-game bets.

The Benefits of Asian Online Betting

As seen, African turn to foreign online sportsbooks for the bulk of their wagers, and with good reason. Online bookmakers that are hosted in Asian countries have perfected their marketing and attraction programs to encourage loyalty. Many of these bookmakers have created bonus programs to keep their clients coming back but also catch the eye of new players. The way the betting has been structured is also more enticing. With the expansive nature of games and betting options (especially with football), bettors aren’t limited to placing a bet on the final score of a match. For those who know the sport, bookies allow bets on the number of goals, the first player to score, and even the number of corners a game will include. This chance to play on the Asian handicap has become the most popular bet for their market, as it helps players avoid dire consequences if a game should end in a draw. Online betting is more popular than traditional land-based betting, and sports betting has become a multi-billion dollar industry in Asian markets.

Without a doubt, sports betting is popular around the world and stands to be a lucrative market for countries and continents alike. Though the growth of the market is just starting in Africa, with the ability to tap into online bookies offering wagers on sports the nationals know and love, Africans will face the same boom in the market as those in Asia.

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