As the second largest and second most-populous continent, Africa is reaching a point where it starts to captivate the attention of those operating in the iGaming industry. As the mature markets, such as the European one, are becoming more and more saturated, operators are looking to enter the fray and conquer the emerging markets, as the case with Africa.


A rapidly growing economy and iGaming market


As reported in the Annual African Economic report, “Africa’s economic growth continues to strengthen, reaching an estimated 3.5 percent in 2018. East Africa, the fastest growing region, is projected to achieve growth of 5.9 percent in 2019 and 6.1 percent in 2020. Between 2010 and 2018, growth averaged almost 6 percent, with Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania recording above-average rates.


The African region is looked upon as one of the fastest growing markets for land-based, online and mobile betting. The entire region, in general, is emerging rapidly, but it is especially the Eastern region that is distinguishing itself as the fastest growing gambling market and it is mostly due to the growing economic power and advancing technology. As a consequence, East Africa is the hot topic for gaming operators who are already shifting their attention away from the mature markets.


Increasing smartphone usage


When it comes to mobile technology, Africa is an example of a region that has seen an aggressive mobile penetration in recent years. A recent report by GSMA presents that the mobile penetration in Kenya stands at 84% and in Tanzania at 81.5%, with 86% men and 82% women, and 86% men and 77% women owning a mobile phone, respectively.


The mobile penetration in Africa, specifically in East African countries, and the tendency to use mobile money payments go hand in hand with the rising gambling trend. In a scenario where a substantial part of the population still fall under the “unbanked” category, mobile operators started cooperating with alternative payment methods, such the widely popular mobile money platform in Kenya and Tanzania, M-Pesa.


A young population with a passion for sports


The African population is widely known as an avid follower of all things related to sports. The youngsters, specifically the males aged between 15 and 24 are considered as the most avid sports bettors, especially when it comes to football. The sport has reached a great level of popularity, as a number of African players own a superstar status in the respective leagues they play in, like Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Senegal’s Sadio Manè, and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.


As a result, sports betting is constantly gaining in its popularity, and when one considers that Africa is expected to double its population by 2050, everything suggests that the young population will continue to grow alongside the sports betting businesses.


To conclude, East Africa is a region that from several angles offers opportunities for business expansion and growth in the iGaming industry. Countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are becoming the key markets that will lead to a future iGaming revolution.


To further explore the potential of the East African region, download the latest industry report East Africa: Leading the continent’s iGaming revolution.