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NSoft on iGaming industry in Africa: Raising the stakes in Africa

George Miller

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NSoft on iGaming industry in Africa: Raising the stakes in Africa
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The African continent is the future of the global economy in every aspect and the rising star in the iGaming industry.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050. It is a diverse region offering human and natural resources that have the potential to yield inclusive growth in the area, enabling Africans across the continent to live healthier and more prosperous lives.

“Today, we can proudly say that NSoft has a footprint across the globe with 150+ of customers worldwide. NSoft’s rich experience in retail is certainly an important asset for the African markets due to the popularity of land-based betting operators and preferences of its players,” explains Marko Džoić, NSoft’s Regional Sales Manager for the African market.

Africans are very enthusiastic about sports, and the interest in sports betting as well as online games is fast growing with the expansion of mobile internet connectivity. According to recent research on Africa’s betting market, the sports betting industry was estimated to be worth $ 37 billion in 2018 and could reach near $100 billion during this century. Roughly 60 million Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 are involved in active sports betting. On average, these punters spend around 3,000 Naira (about $15) every day on bets.

“Despite the issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, most African countries have managed to boost betting worth even in 2020, and that growth will continue this year since we’ll have more sport events combined with much better access to the internet. We are very optimistic, adds Marko.

 

Opening new markets in Africa

Africa is the rising star in the iGaming industry and a high-growth market for which the understanding of new technologies is essential for future development. Beyond developing games and applications, NSoft must comply with the regulations, tax policy, and follow security protocols. This varies from country to country. The number of African countries adopting a regulatory framework is on the rise, which is crucial to the industry.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa had most of the gambling revenue in the land-based betting business, but due to all of the restrictions caused by lockdowns, now we can clearly see a growth of the online channel. There is an increased number of Africans moving from USSD and SMS betting to standard online betting as we have in markets across Europe and Asia,” stated Marko.

Ethiopia is the largest and most populated country in the Horn of Africa, home to more than 100M people, and it was the next step for NSoft.

Commenting on opening a new market in Ethiopia, Marko adds: “As a result of good market research and recognizing the potential of the Ethiopian market, we signed the first retail agreements in Ethiopia back in September 2019. Since the internet penetration was very low, we focused on the land-based that is supported with our amazing Web-code generated option for boosting retail business. That was the right move to do, and now we see first clients that are going completely online. My colleague Davor Konjevod is leading Ethiopian clients, and currently, we are working on new projects that will definitely establish us there as the market leaders.“

 

Doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns encouraged NSoft to strengthen its online presence.

Explaining the power of NSoft’s unique retail solutions combined with our online presence, Marko emphasizes: “Today, one year after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global level, we have managed to sign new retail deals in Madagascar, Swaziland, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Hopefully in June, I will be visiting DR Congo to sign new contracts. All of this is the result of dedicated teamwork between our Sales and Development divisions. We’re working on products that are rising stars in Africa – draw-based games like Lucky 6 and our amazing comprehensive Sportsbook software solution, including Pre-Match Betting and Live Betting.

Marko added that many NSoft’s clients aim to transition from retail to other channels during the collaboration.

“We are making that transition possible. I hope to see very soon the first tickets played in the last few African countries where we don’t have our presence now,” Marko concluded.

 

Stepping up with satellite stream solution

Africa’s low internet speed coverage represents one of the main issues for betting operators around the continent. This has led to NSoft adjusting its products for the satellite stream solution. The fast delivery of its top tier product, draw-based game Lucky Six, through satellite streaming has made this game now available even in locations with low internet speed and poor connection, such as Africa. This solution is an answer to growing customers needs in retail who are facing troubles with an internet connection. The satellite stream is performed via shared channel and with no additional fee for the satellite steam service. Operators’ investment is at a minimum and only requirements are a satellite dish antenna and a receiver.

Plans for the future – converting land-based to mobile

While the African gambling market was dominated by land-based betting operators so far, the number of online players has been growing quickly with the spread of smartphones and mobile data coverage. One of the pillars of NSoft’s constant progress is listening to our clients, which gives us important feedback and helps us make new better products as well as update existing ones to keep our clients and punters satisfied.

Marko adds: “Clients not only give us their opinion on the products, but they also serve as a bond between NSoft and punters. Where there is a market gap, we are here to listen and develop something new. This was the case with our Lightning games – a new category of virtual games offered in our portfolio. NSoft’s most desirable games Lucky Six and Roulette have been totally revamped and adapted for web and mobile usage. They are easy to play, fast as lightning and provide the possibility for players to win big. More and more Africans are discovering the joys of sports betting on the move and they will surely do the same with online casino games.”

Africa

CashtoCode goes live in Nigeria, first step in African expansion

George Miller

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CashtoCode goes live in Nigeria, first step in African expansion
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

CashtoCode, the instant cash payment service for online merchants, today announced its launch in Nigeria. Entering the African market for the first time, CashtoCode will now allow Nigerian customers to top up their iGaming or other merchant accounts via in-store cash deposits in their local currency Naira. The service will be available on the Payalat Bill Payment Platform, and at all ServPoint Agent locations – including corner shops, hotels, newsagents and supermarkets. These locations are already extremely popular for mobile top ups, utility bill payments and agency banking services (Payalat and ServPoint are operated by Globasure.)

CashtoCode aims to establish itself as the leading cash deposit service in Africa. It chose to enter the market via Nigeria, since it is a regional fintech hotspot with a high population of smartphone users, and therefore offers a prime opportunity to grow its services.

CashtoCode is also supporting iGaming operators hoping to enter the region by helping them set up payment collection services via cash payments and evouchers – helping them overcome the challenges around currency conversion and repatriation. CashtoCode has already partnered with several operators in Nigeria including Lottoland. CashtoCode was designed to be a low-risk payments solution since its vouchers cannot be transferred. They can only be redeemed by the account holder/iGaming customer, thereby eliminating the risk of fraud and eliminating chargebacks.

“We see a lot of potential in the African market, which is under-served for simple and accessible payment options that help people participate in eccomerce,” said CashtoCode CEO, Jens Bader. “Nigeria is a popular destination for new businesses hoping to succeed in Africa, especially in fintech. We think our service has a natural fit in Nigeria, and in the day-to-day routines of people’s lives there. Payalat and ServPoint locations perform a crucial service and are already extremely popular for bills payment services. With CashtoCode, people can now use the same service to top up their digital ewallets, iGaming accounts and other online merchant balances. For iGaming operators, we offer the instant ability to go live in the region and start accepting deposits from potential customers, without the common challenges of currency conversation and repatriation.”

According to Globasure’s CEO, Chris Ife, “Payalat and ServPoint are positioned to enable customers purchase and redeem CashtoCode vouchers easily and conveniently via web, mobile app, POS app and Agent locations”.

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Africa

Going for posts, Unstoppable inclusion with Rugby Africa

Zoltan Tundik

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Rugby Africa's Botswanan Unstoppable, Fatma (Source: Rugby Africa)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Fatma’s journey in rugby began with coincidence, much like many of the greats in the game, Rugby has been a quest of growing one’s confidence. Back in 2015, without any prior experience in playing rugby, Fatma had only attended rugby games as a spectator, most of which were only played by men. After a life changing suggestion for a new hobby from a friend, she made it out to the rugby field behind her office and there her story began, with the support of other female players. When she picked up the oval ball for the first time, she knew that she had found what she had been searching for.

Despite champions of Rugby in Botswana like Fatma campaigning for its broad-based promotion, Rugby and more importantly as a sport for women, has largely remained a sport which exhibits great potential for growth. Fatma exclaims that in Botswana, Rugby for women is hardly discussed. On the other hand, this has not left her, and other Unstoppables demotivated, in fact the value of their work is the single greatest force behind the grassroots development of the game. Her work has been applauded by World Rugby and Rugby Africa, amongst many other organisations and institutions seeking to promote women empowerment. Through the work of Fatma and others, future sports women will join or learn from the sport.

In her own career as a player, Fatma has seen a marked improvement in the participation of more teams in the women’s league. With the number of players increasing over the years, she anticipates that there will be more athletes from school rugby, advancing to league rugby. Further to this she believes that there will also be more women as coaches and referees in the near future- unstoppable.

As part of her outreach efforts, Fatma launched the “A Try for Change”, which is a grassroots initiative to empower girls through the sport. She and others seek to conscientize young women and girls to grow their self-confidence, as a means of unlocking their true potential in society. Rugby is used as a medium of instruction, but the goal of her work is to empower attendees to become agents of change in their respective communities- on or off the field of play. The programme is targeted at primary school leavers and includes modules on introspective exercises, recreational activities with learning objectives, mentorships, as well as preparatory programs in enterprise development.

Coming from a conservative background which does not prioritise the involvement of women in sports, Fatma has vigorously worked to change perceptions of elders and community leaders, to work with their support. She has opened way for reports and researched findings, to find their way into the hands of key decision makers. Overall, the programme has received a positive reception from participants, teachers and the Botswana Rugby Union, and plans are already afoot to run ‘A Try for Change’ again in the new year.

Based on the feedback she has received working with young girls, Fatma used the global “Try & Stop Us” campaign to address the issue of Gender Based Violence affecting women and children inher community. As an Unstoppable leader, she is breaking the silence of abuse in communities by raising awareness around civil liberties and justice. She deeply empathises with young girls who are not taught about building their confidence in school, as the priority is generally put on teaching the standard course curriculum. Sessions with Fatma and her team have become safe and supportive structures for personal development in the schools and communities they serve.

Fatma believes that instilling self-confidence in young women sets them up for life, not only for them to be leaders in the future, but more importantly now, for them to be able to tackle head on collisions with Gender Based Violence and many other scourges of society.

President of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee at Rugby Africa, Ms Paula Lancoemphasised that, “the WRAC and creation of its sub-committees will ultimately help increase awareness of women in rugby, attracting more tournaments and partnerships with sponsors, increasing the overall popularity of the game in the continent.”

According to Maha Zaoui, Women’s Manager Rugby Africa, “With the impact COVID-19 has placed globally, we are able to work with the sub-committees to overcome challenges the pandemic has placed on world sports and identifying untapped opportunities,”.

For Fatma, Rugby has been life changing not just for her career as a person, but more importantly it has empowered her as an individual to transform the lives of many. Her personal journey has become a reference point for others, who share in her passion and struggle for inclusion in different parts of their lives. Her outreach work has won many over and today has set the foundation for unstoppable future female leaders in Botswana and Africa at large, who have been transformed through the philosophy of the game.

Source: Rugby Africa.

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Africa

Incentive Games handed 12-month contract extension with Bet Lion

George Miller

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Incentive Games handed 12-month contract extension with Bet Lion
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Free-to-Play & Virtual Sports game provider to continue its successful relationship with top African online and mobile sportsbook brand, Bet Lion

Incentive Games has signed a 12-month contract extension with popular African online and mobile sportsbook operator, Bet Lion, allowing users to access even more Free-to-Play and Pay-to-Play virtual sports games.

The extended agreement will see Bet Lion launch additional games to its players in Kenya and Zambia, including Incentive Games’ new Pick 5 title as well as its upgraded Pick 6 and Dream Team games that have proved to be a big hit with users so far.

Incentive Games’ Dream Team is a long-established user favourite that allows them to choose their own fantasy team of 5 players from a single football match and compete against other users to win a cash prize. These 5 players then earn or lose points for every action they take in the real-life match.

Pick 6 is challenges users to correctly predict the scores in six football matches for the chance to win a cash prize.

Pick 5 is a new concept that combines virtual sports and a score predictor in a Free-to-Play format. Users predict the scores in virtual matches, instead of real-life ones. This means users can play multiple times a day, unlike with Pick 6 whose frequency is dictated by the scheduling of real-life football matches.

Since joining forces with Bet Lion in September 2018, Incentive Games’ titles have enjoyed huge traction with Bet Lion players; Pick 6 and Dream Team regularly attract tens of thousands of entrants per week.

Incentive Games has built a formidable reputation for developing games specifically for markets where cellular data costs are still a significant barrier for a lot of users. Games have also been optimised for Opera Mini Extreme mode.

John Gordon, CEO of Incentive Games: “We are thrilled to have extended our partnership with our good friends at Bet Lion and to be able to build on the incredible success we have enjoyed to date by launching additional games on their stellar brand.

“Our games have been designed specifically for markets such as Kenya and Zambia, but they also play exceptionally well on smartphone and tablet devices. We look forward to working closely with the Bet Lion team as it takes its content offering to the next level.”

Jason Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer at Bet Lion, said: “Given the success of our partnership with Incentive Games over the past few years it was an easy decision to extend our current agreement for another 12 months. Its games are among the most popular offered to our players.

“We look forward to launching Pick 5 in the coming weeks as well as updated versions of Pick 6 and Dream Team, both of which are firm player favourites.”

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