Understanding the Sportsbetting challenges in Africa in order to maximise the retail business
Analysing the African Market
Africa, being a continent, cannot be viewed as a single entity, even though it is clear that it has the potential to become one of the largest iGaming markets in the world. The entire continent has great potential, however, different African countries all take differing approaches to the regulation and oversight of their gambling markets. This is why entering any specific African market requires precise analysis. The trends of mobile and retail betting, player behaviour, mobile take-up, licensing practice, levels of taxes, payment methods and even terminology all need to be covered before entering a specific African market. The only thing all of these very different markets have in common is the love for football, making betting on football by far the most popular sports betting category in the entire continent.
The regulations and lack of regulations
Many countries in Africa have regulated land-based sports betting, however, online regulations are a completely different matter. In most cases online is not illegal, but not covered at all, opening entirely new set of challenges for the operators. However, even when regulated, there are still obstacles to be surpassed. Such are the taxation increases that can happen due to the regulations in East African countries.
Egypt has legal land-based but online is yet to be regulated. All forms of gambling are legal in Marocco, while Tunisia’s land-based casinos are legal only for non-residents and online gambling is illegal but not prosecuted yet. In Central Africa, Madagascar has legalised casino gambling, while in Western Africa Ghana and Nigeria have regulated land-based casino and sports betting while Gambia is completely unregulated. In terms of online, while Ghana regulates just mobile lottery, Nigeria has yet to present any specific online regulations.
South Africa has very popular retail betting, while online sports betting is regulated, unlike online gambling. Online gambling is not covered by the law at the in Botswana as well, but locals can still gamble at various online casinos, international sportsbooks, bingo and poker. In Zimbabwe, just casino and horseracing are admitted for online betting.
Maximising the retail business
The analysis of the entry barriers is very important when it comes to most African markets. Certain African countries are more receptive to foreign operators and suppliers than others, this is why it is key to view every country individually and it is vital to understand each country’s legal and financial systems, so you can drive the business in the right direction. However, in most African countries, lawmakers and regulators tend to protect the interests of local businesses. This is why it is usually recommended to establish strong joint ventures and partnerships with existing local operators and betting shop owners.
Once established, in order to manage your business efficiently a multi-level agent management system must be built. This will make it easier to control the scalability of the network, manage the agents and cash flow within the network. The agent system ensures that no single person is responsible for the entire network of betting accounts while filtering and excluding agents with a poor reputation.
Offers need to be customised and localised for the specific African market in order for them to be more appealing to the customer. This means providing a specific and differentiated number of tournaments, divisions and leagues based on local interests. This will give the local on-site sportsbook an unbeatable local appeal.
The use of technology can help you simplify and enhance the user experience in the retail bet shops. Odds, virtual, sports, video streaming etc. can all be part of the multiple channel video displays offering in your shop as part of the best way to build your communication strategy by choosing what to show in order to be more appealing to the players. Thanks to the quick cashier interface which can upload multiple bets in a second operator can offer effective solutions to the bettors, bringing satisfaction to a whole different level while saving money. They can also add unrivalled back-end tools, creating real-time reporting and special markets for specific events.
Africa is an extremely promising market for mobile sports betting operators. With the right approach and analysis of the regulatory matters and the needs of each market, operators can equip themselves to be able to provide the right tools and technology to profit from the enormous opportunities this market presents.