Sports betting is an activity where you place wagers on the outcomes of various sporting events. There are hundreds of sports to place bets on, with thousands of competitive betting markets. Sports betting is legal throughout various continents, and Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions. According to the latest statistics, by the end of 2023, the sports betting industry in Africa will reach over $6 billion. Unfortunately, sports betting has a stigma as it is a form of gambling, but there are benefits to the sports betting industry in Africa. This article will evaluate the impact of sports betting on economic growth in Africa.
Sports Betting in Nigeria
According to studies, by the end of 2020, the Nigerian sports betting industry was valued at more than $2 billion. Over 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18-40 place bets daily. Some of the country’s biggest and most popular sports betting operators include SportyBet, BetKing and 1xBet. Football or Soccer is the leading sport to bet on in Nigeria.
The popularity of the sports betting industry in Nigeria has seen exceptional economic growth in the economy. Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, and the sports betting industry has contributed to the GDP. Studies have shown that the Nigerian sports betting industry will create more than 10 million jobs for the next ten years and boost the GDP by up to 3%.
Sports Betting in Kenya
Dating back to 2013, the Kenyan government has provided betting licenses to over 30 sports betting operators in the country. According to the latest statistics in the industry, there is a total combined revenue of over $2 billion in Kenya. On average, there are seven million sports bettors in the country. Popular betting operator SportPesa was the first to receive its license in the country and has welcomed Kenyan players since 2013. Other popular sports betting operators in the country include Betika and Betway Kenya.
At the beginning of this year, the government reintroduced a 7.5% tax on every sports bet wagered. For example, a $100 wager at a sportsbook will see the government earn $7.5 in tax. The tax generated from the sports betting industry will contribute towards the country’s GDP. Forecasted data has concluded that by the end of 2023, tax generation from the sports betting industry will reach $22 million.
Sports Betting in South Africa
Over 80% of the African sports betting market is accounted for by South Africa. The National Gambling Board of South Africa regulates the industry, and through its provincial boards, hundreds of gambling licenses have been issued over the years. The leading sports betting sites include Hollywoodbets, Sunbet, Sportingbet, Gbets, WSB and Betway South Africa.
The South African government has greatly benefitted from sports betting in the country, and at the end of 2020, the government managed to raise taxes and levies from horse racing to a total of $150 million. Through the thousands of land-based betting shops spread across South Africa, the government has also raised millions in fees from liquor licenses and the tax on alcohol and cigarette sales at these betting shops. The sports betting industry has also helped create employment for South African citizens, which further boosted the GDP.
Regulatory and Social Issues Surrounding Sports Betting in Africa
The sports betting industry in Africa faces many challenges, including regulatory and social issues. With the increase in popularity of sports betting, the number of international betting operators entering the African market is high, and it has become difficult for governments and gambling boards to license and regulate these operators. The threat of unlicensed betting operators is always a risk in the industry, and gambling boards must create more awareness of the risk of signing up at unlicensed sports betting sites.
Social issues such as gambling addiction and underage gambling are prominent in Africa, and there will always be organizations trying to shut down the sports betting industry. However, licensed sports betting operators have gone to great lengths to help control these issues, and plenty of responsible gambling tools are available at sportsbooks. All licensed sports betting operators request ID documentation from players when signing up to verify that players are over the betting limit age.
The future growth of the sports betting industry in Africa is unlimited. Through technological improvements, the internet, and mobile devices, online sports betting is also on an upward trajectory. Today, sports bettors love convenience, and nothing beats using your mobile to place a bet from anywhere. Research has shown that betting apps have innovated the sports betting industry, and today over 75% of sports bettors are placing bets through their phones.
We have discussed the impact of sports betting on economic growth in Africa and concluded that sports betting has been a tremendous success on the continent. There are some risks to sports betting, such as addiction, but the licensed and regulated sports betting sites in Africa are working hard to control betting and the temptation of addiction. Sports betting has provided people with jobs, income and has boosted the economy throughout many African countries. With the enhancement of technology and the introduction of online betting, the sports betting industry in Africa will grow exponentially and continue to develop.