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East Africa’s iGaming Industry A Prime Opportunity For Growth And Expansion

George Miller

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East Africa's iGaming Industry A Prime Opportunity For Growth And Expansion
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

East Africa is one of the regions in Africa that is garnering the most attraction when it comes to the betting and gambling industry. We meet Alessandro Pizzolotto, STM Gaming’s CEO and Certified Partner of BtoBet in Africa what he thinks about the subject and how the region could further evolve in the short to medium term.

Is it your opinion that sports betting is more rampant in Eastern Africa? Why?

There is no doubt that the popularity of sports betting in the whole of Africa derives from the huge popularity of sports across the entire continent. The popularity of sports, especially football, has been further highlighted in recent years with the huge success of African players in major European leagues. One could make reference to Napoli’s strong Senegalese centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, amongst many others.

Nonetheless with numbers at hand, a report published by Dublin based research firm “Research and Report” clearly indicates that the iGaming industry in the Sub-Saharan region is seeing an increase in the number of millenials who make use of mobile phones to place bets. The report states that the eastern region in Africa, with Kenya and Uganda as the primary examples, is at the forefront of the continent’s gambling market.

How did weak laws and regulations offer the perfect environment for the growth of gambling in Eastern Africa?

I wouldn’t state that East African markets are afflicted by weak regulations. The M-Pesa and SMS payments conundrum that resulted in Kenya last year was in effect a demonstration that local regulations do work, and in blocking these vital payment systems to the country’s largest operators the Kenyan government was effectively cutting the operators from millions of customers.

Whilst one can argue to great length regarding the escalating enforcement measures that were introduced by the government, this does not in itself demonstrate a weak regulatory framework that would benefit black or grey markets.

Does East Africa have more nations that participate in sports betting than any other African region? 

To understand why the iGaming industry has registered stronger growth in Eastern Africa than in other regions one has to understand the payment gateways and services available, which are fundamental to the industry. East Africa is undoubtedly at the forefront of the entire continent when it comes to payment gateways, especially mobile money. It is a known fact that from a financial inclusion perspective Africa is still lagging behind more established markets, such as Europe.

Yet when it comes to East Africa, the region – with countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda – is a global leader in regards to the highest per capita registered and active mobile money accounts, and volume of mobile money. The region has the fastest growth in mobile money accounts and in each country the number of mobile money accounts surpassed the number of bank accounts.

The phenomenon of mobile money has been ongoing in the East African region since 2007. The roots of mobile money lie in Kenya with the launch of M-Pesa by Vodacom . With the lack of financial infrastructure in the region and the cost of mobile phones dropping rapidly in that same period, mobile money spread quickly through the rest of East Africa.

If one were to compare two leading markets in Africa – Kenya from the East African region and Nigeria from its Western counterpart – one would find huge discrepancies from this perspective. Whilst in Kenya 56% of the population aged over 15 years have an account with a financial institution, on the other hand 73% report having a mobile money account. At the same time the situation cannot be more different in Nigeria, with 39% of the population having an account with a financial institution and only 5.6% having a mobile money account. This obviously has a very strong impact on the iGaming industry.

Nonetheless this situation is set to change in the short to medium term, especially with the continuous expansion of companies such as MTN Africa and Airtel Africa across the whole continent. Such an expansion will pave the way for a true pan-African payment gateway facilitating money transfers, deposits and withdrawals when it comes to the regional iGaming industry.

Africa

SoftSwiss expands to the African continent

George Miller

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SoftSwiss extends its global presence to African region
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

SoftSwiss is excited to announce its official expansion into the African continent. As the company continues extending its global presence, this month SoftSwiss received a license for Nigeria. This is another great milestone for SoftSwiss in entering new regulated markets.

Nigeria is the largest country in Africa, with 200 million inhabitants, whilst also being a gambling country with an extremely developed regulation for sports betting and lotteries. Furthermore, it is also one of the most competitive and fast-developing markets in gambling in Africa. The size of the population and exponentially growing internet exposure create the right conditions for online gambling companies to operate in. 

It has to be noted, the African region as a whole is more focused on sports betting rather than online casinos. Now after the official launch of the SoftSwiss Sportsbook, the company is ready to build up its presence in this exciting new region.

Ivan Montik, Founder of SoftSwiss commented on this event: “Entering the Nigerian market marks an exceptional turning point for SoftSwiss, as we’re expanding our global presence to a brand new continent. Nigeria is considered one of the most fast-paced iGaming markets in terms of growth and we cannot wait to begin providing our services there. Nigeria is a great achievement for us and we’re planning on moving even further into other regulated markets” . 

 

About SoftSwiss

SoftSwiss is an international tech brand supplying widely acclaimed, certified software solutions for managing iGaming operations. SoftSwiss holds a number of gaming licenses, providing a “one-stop-shop” white label solution by taking care of all technical, legal, and financial processes on behalf of its customers. The company has a vast product portfolio, which includes an Online Casino Platform, Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, an affiliate platform, and a recently launched sportsbook platform. In 2013 SoftSwiss was the first in the world to introduce a bitcoin-optimized online casino solution. The company has thus been regarded as the leading technical expert when it comes to the use of cryptocurrencies in online gaming.

 

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Africa

Betway announced as title sponsor of CSA T20 challenge

George Miller

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Betway announced as title sponsor of CSA T20 challenge
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Global online betting and gaming company Betway and Cricket South Africa (CSA) are proud to announce the bookmaker’s title sponsorship of T20 competition, the Betway T20 Challenge.

Showcasing the best white ball cricket talent South Africa has to offer, loyal supporters across the world will be able to enjoy much-needed competitive T20 action from 19-28 February.

Joining Betway’s impressive cricket portfolio which already includes title sponsorship of all Proteas Test and One Day International series, this announcement demonstrates Betway’s commitment to South African cricket.

Paul Adkins, Betway’s Marketing & Operations Director said: “We are extremely happy to be announcing our title sponsorship of the Betway T20 Challenge. It enforces our strong commitment to cricket in South Africa and we look forward to being part of this exciting tournament.”

CSA Acting Chief Executive Officer Pholetsi Moseki added: “We would like to thank Betway for joining Cricket South Africa as the title sponsor of the domestic T20 competition.”

“They are already part of our family with their association with Test and ODI cricket and this new agreement just reinforces our partnership with them.

“I have no doubt that the Betway T20 Challenge will prove to be a huge hit. We have all our Proteas playing and they are mixed amongst some of the finest cricketers in the country, so it is a win-win situation for everyone.”

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Africa

Pragmatic Play Enters South Africa With CDP Gaming Technologies Deal

George Miller

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Pragmatic Play Enters South Africa With CDP Gaming Technologies Deal
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Pragmatic Play, a leading game content provider to the gaming industry, has confirmed a partnership with CDP Gaming Technologies to take multiple verticals live with the leading South African brand, Yesplay.

The supplier has entered into a partnership distribution agreement with CDP Gaming Technologies (Holders of Manufacturers License in South Africa), a B2B partnership that will allow CDP to resell Pragmatic Play products in South Africa. The supplier will make its market debut by initially providing its Live Casino offering throughout the nation, with Slots and Virtual Sports to be provided in the near future.

Pragmatic Play’s Live Casino continues to go from strength to strength, combining land-based classics with an optimized online offering to ensure an immersive gaming experience. The supplier’s Live Dealer portfolio is headlined by its Baccarat, Roulette, and Blackjack products.

The CDP Gaming Technologies deal marks the provider’s latest global expansion, with numerous commercial successes from its worldwide hubs.

Pragmatic Play’s African Business Development Manager, Solomon Godwin, said: “We are thrilled to partner with CDP Gaming Technologies, a leading Licensed Betting Platform provider in South Africa, to be a distributor of our products in the country.

“Through this partnership, South African gaming enthusiasts will have access to all of Pragmatic Play’s award winning and innovative Live Dealer games and we are excited to make our debut in the market.”

Tebogo Makamo, Director and Co-Owner CDP Gaming Technologies, said: “Pragmatic Play is the latest provider to enter the South African market in partnership with CDP Gaming Technologies and we are extremely happy to be the first operator to offer their content to South African players.

“CDP and Pragmatic Play will strive to bring great innovative and award-winning games to the thriving gambling industry in South Africa.”

Pragmatic Play currently produces up to five new slot titles a month, while also delivering Live Casino and Bingo games as part of its multi-product portfolio, available through one single API.

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