3 Survival Ways for Bookmakers in Africa to Pull Through Covid-19 Pandemic

A few months down the line, Covid-19 struck the world economy, but the most affected industry has been that of sports betting. Almost all sporting events have been postponed or cancelled, leading to the abrupt closure of all bookmakers.

The companies have no sources of revenue, and some of them have laid off most of their staffs. Online gambling in Africa is a billion-dollar business whose immediate closure has devastating effects on the economy and individuals. Consequently, the bookmakers have devised survival methods to cope with the ravaging impacts of Covid-19.

Some of the survival strategies include:

1. Finding New Events to Bet On
In the absence of popular events like the Premier League and Champions League, betting enthusiasts will be more than happy to find an alternative. You would rather have a small fish than an empty dish. To satisfy this need, bookmakers have been running around to establish some suitable events away from live games.

They include:

• Virtual Sports
Sports leagues such as DOTA 2 and League of legends are now trying a hand in the online gaming format. Even without the shift from offline to online, bookmakers are rushing to tap the potential that is available with virtual games. The African market is familiar with popular games like the virtual Grand National and F1 Virtual GP. Some companies that have incorporated the games in their operations are already providing odds for their customers.

• Politics
Covid-19 has taught the sports companies that one cannot rely on sports alone. Some of them are now offering betting chances on politics. Nonetheless, few political events are happening now. Recently, the US was holding party nominations, but they have since come to an end. Currently, bookmakers are relying on the period when the Covid-19 vaccine will be found, thus offering odds in this respect.

• Weather
Weather is dynamic, featuring events like sunshine, rain, and the wind among others. Betting companies have taken this advantage to ask clients to bet on regular probabilities of these events. Africans have embraced this variety and are carrying on with their gambling business.

2. Reducing the Cost of Processing Payments
One of the ways to wade through this crisis is for the companies to cut on costs. In normal circumstances, betting firms spend heavily to acquire payment cards. Since banks consider the gambling industry very volatile, they impose a lot of fees upon them. One of the strategies being deployed is to adopt cheaper methods of payment, which include cryptocurrencies and e-wallets. Apart from reducing costs, alternative payment methods have introduced the companies to a new pool of customers.

3. Reaching Out to New Audiences
In the initial days of the Covid-19 outbreak, the African continent looked like it had dodged the negative impacts, compared to other parts of the world. However, the pandemic has slowly invaded the population, resulting in the collapse of the betting industry. Towards the end of March, even the most vibrant betting destinations in countries like Kenya and South Africa closed shop. There is still a deafening silence in the once great horse racing events in South Africa.

Usually, a significant part of the African market has been betting offline. However, the turn of events has left the bettors with no choice but to embrace online betting as their new hobby. Foreign-based companies have found a chance to explore new markets in Africa because of the shift. The demand is readily available because of the desperation of bettors to make an income and sustain their livelihoods.

Plotting the Future

Unlike other sectors, gambling firms can expect the least assistance from governments to find a way out of the crisis. Basically, they are on their own, meaning they must be ready to embrace and adapt to change. Since ancient times, sports betting has thrived through global pandemics, including the Black Death, two World Wars, among others. No doubt that they will survive Covid-19 as well.

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